Unable to speak English, Jane Susin often did not understand what was happening as her son lay in a coma at a Gold Coast hospital.
Yet for 10 days she remained by his side ‘waiting for the slightest sign’.
She had flown in from Brazil after Ivan Patricio Susin was punched outside a Surfers Paradise kebab shop by Ricky Kevin Lefoe in October 2019.
Her 29-year-old son had fallen and suffered head injuries after being struck when a brawl erupted over stolen hot chips.
The family could afford just one plane ticket so Mrs Susin took her first international flight after being notified of the serious assault.
Ivan Patricio Susin was punched outside a Surfers Paradise kebab shop by Ricky Kevin Lefoe in October 2019
When Mrs Susin arrived, she hoped to ‘find my son smiling’.
‘I found my son unconscious, connected to many medical devices … and in a coma,’ she said in a victim impact statement.
She kept a bedside vigil but in the end her son was declared brain dead.
Mrs Susin had to watch as hospital staff turned off his life support.
‘Can you imagine what that means to a mother?’ she said.
Three years after losing a daughter in a car accident, Mrs Susin helped organise a Gold Coast wake for her son that her husband had to watch online.
By then, her daughter Joseane was by her side.
She had organised a flight from Brazil after being told her brother would ‘probably not survive’.
‘The night before my flight I received the news that my brother was brain dead – from that moment on I began my journey of pain,’ she said in a statement.
Mr Susin’s parents and Joseane on Tuesday watched via video link as Lefoe, 32, was sentenced to eight years’ jail for manslaughter in Brisbane Supreme Court
Mr Susin’s parents and Joseane on Tuesday watched via video link as Lefoe, 32, was sentenced to eight years’ jail for manslaughter in Brisbane Supreme Court.
Lefoe showed little emotion as the family’s statements were read in court.
They touched on dealing with Mr Susin’s loss to the embarrassment of being stopped at airport X-rays with his ashes in his mother’s bag on the journey home.
‘Our son’s life was ripped away from us by this man who … does not even have the decency to own up to his actions – he took everything from us,’ Mrs Susin said.
The fatal blow was delivered during a brawl that started when Lefoe’s intoxicated friend Shaun Simpson grabbed hot chips Mr Susin’s group were eating near the kebab shop.
Lefoe left the scene but later returned, making no attempt to help those assisting an unconscious Mr Susin who was on a working holiday, the court heard.
Lefoe also showed no remorse when arrested.
‘He tried to hit my mate, I f***ing put him to sleep,’ Lefoe told police.
The fatal blow was delivered during a brawl that started when Lefoe’s intoxicated friend Shaun Simpson grabbed hot chips Mr Susin’s (pictured) group were eating near the kebab shop
At Lefoe’s Supreme Court trial in February, a jury was repeatedly shown CCTV footage of the assault and only took a couple of hours to find him guilty.
After watching the footage, Joseane Susin described Lefoe’s actions as ‘cowardice’.
‘That person has no honour at all,’ she said.
The court heard Lefoe had a string of convictions in NSW after his brother had been murdered in a 2011 gang attack.
Lefoe also had a 2022 conviction for an assault offence while on bail for the manslaughter charge.
The court heard he had been remanded in custody from December 2020 to November 2021 for further charges which are yet to proceed in NSW.
Chief Justice Helen Bowskill said Mr Simpson had behaved like an aggressive idiot and picked a fight but Lefoe’s ‘split second decision’ had tragic circumstances.
‘Impulsive violence has no place in our civilised society,’ she said.
Lefoe will be eligible for parole in 2027.
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