Brett Halcro, 36, was allegedly knocked off his hire bike and bashed, before a teenager ran in and ‘sliced’ his face seven times and plunged a knife into his eye
The family of a cyclist who was blinded, left comatose and ‘permanently disfigured’ after he was allegedly attacked by a gang of private schoolboys have released a harrowing photograph of his recovery.
Brett Halcro, 36, was allegedly set upon in Pyrmont by nine teenagers from some of Sydney’s most elite private schools last Friday night while he was riding his bike home about 10pm.
The alleged assault was described as ‘sadistic’ and may have come after a teenage girl falsely claimed Mr Halcro had sexually assaulted her, a court heard last week.
A new picture taken in Mr Halcro’s hospital ward at the Royal Prince Alfred show him hooked up to various machines to assist in his recovery.
After more than a week in a coma, doctors have finally reduced Mr Halcro’s sedation and he is breathing on his own.
‘He has also begun moving his head and body and shows brief responses to verbal cues,’ one of Mr Halcro’s cousins, who is currently living on the Gold Coast, explained.
‘Brett’s facial injuries (including those to his right eye) are significant, but the surgeons have done a fantastic job and he is healing well.’
Doctors are still examining his injuries, particularly those on his jaw, arms and hands.
The family released the photograph to ‘put you in the room with him’ after a GoFundMe page set up for his recovery raised more than $58,000 in four days.
The money raised will go directly to his treatment – both physical and psychological – after the horrifying alleged assault.
‘[He is left] blind, permanently disfigured and facing a lifetime of trauma… rehabilitation will be extensive.’
A new picture taken in Mr Halcro’s hospital ward at the Royal Prince Alfred show him hooked up to various machines to assist in his recovery
Nine teenagers have been arrested for allegedly attacking a 36-year-old man at Pyrmont, in Sydney, about 11pm last Friday night
All the teenagers allegedly involved are aged between 15 and 18. They were renting an Airbnb in the city on the night of the alleged attack and saw Mr Halcro ride past the apartment on his bike.
One of the teenagers allegedly asked the girl: ‘Is that the one who raped you?’
She allegedly replied ‘yeah, that’s the one’ and a group rushed downstairs to confront him.
It is believed the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity. Police have described Mr Halcro as an ‘innocent victim’.
Daily Mail Australia revealed on Saturday Mr Halcro landed himself in court recently after he stole a sausage roll and protein drink before punching a shopkeeper who tried to make him pay for the products.
Court documents state Mr Halcro drunk half a bottle of vodka before walking into a City Convenience store on the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets about 4.15pm on May 9.
Once inside the shop he put a sausage roll and chocolate protein drink in his right trouser pocket and left without paying for the goods, which were worth $8.90.
The ‘kind and genuine person’, who was visiting Sydney from Melbourne, was allegedly knocked off his hire bike and bashed before a teenager ran in and ‘sliced’ his face seven times and plunged a knife into his eye
After the shopkeeper followed the father-of-one out of the store and confronted him Mr Halcro hit him in the shoulder with his fist.
He was eventually corralled back into the store and placed under citizens arrest.
The court documents revealed Mr Halcro has an alcohol dependence for which he was taking medication.
Mr Halcro pleaded guilty to common assault and shoplifting and was put on on a nine-month conditional release order in June.
The ‘kind and genuine person’, who was visiting Sydney from Melbourne, was allegedly knocked off his hire bike and bashed before a teenager ran in and ‘sliced’ his face seven times and plunged a knife into his eye.
A family member, who wished to remain unnamed, described Mr Halcro as ‘meek’ and ‘completely shy’.
The relative said he was struggling to come to terms with the boys allegedly gloating and laughing about the attack via text messages.
In the texts, one of the 15-year-old boys allegedly bragged to his friend in horrific detail about how the man was left blinded after being stabbed in the eye.
A 15-year-old (above) who was allegedly part of a gang that stabbed and kicked Brett Halcro, 36, leaving him blinded and in a coma, has had his actions slammed as ‘vile’ by a magistrate
‘It’s incredibly difficult to fathom how humanity is capable of that in the first place,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘Our family is just trying to focus on the recovery.’
In Surry Hills Children’s Court on Wednesday, a long-time magistrate gasped and looked away in disgust after seeing photographs of Mr Halcro’s horrific injuries.
A 15-year-old – who cannot be identified – is the latest teenager to so far be charged over the brutal attack.
He was refused bail, even after his mother pledged to quit her job to ensure he remained in home detention.
Magistrate Jeffrey Hogg turned away after photos of the injuries suffered by Mr Halcro were tendered in court by the prosecution.
Magistrate Hogg said it was concerning that someone so young needed to undergo drug and alcohol counselling, but was more worried about the lack of remorse that the group allegedly displayed in the hours afterwards.
‘What occurred on the social media platform after the event is distinctly counter-indicative of remorse,’ Magistrate Hogg said.
The father of the 15-year-old leaves Surry Hills Children’s Court after his son was refused bail. The boy’s mother offered to quit her job to ensure the boy remained in home detention, but a magistrate said the allegations were so severe he could not release him
So far nine teenagers have been arrested over the disturbing attack in which Brett Halcro was allegedly knocked off his bike and set upon by a gang, before being stomped on and stabbed in the eye
‘It’s a vile and horrific crime. The injuries are extraordinarily severe and life changing.
‘There is a strong prosecution case and it is a matter, should the offenses be proved, that a custodial sentence is in my estimation inevitable.’
In submissions to the court, police prosecutor Kai Jiang described the alleged attack as ‘sadistic’.
The teenager’s lawyer Veronica Love had earlier told the court that he had strong ties to the community and had suffered mental health issues.
Ms Love also told the court it could not yet be known whether the teenager knew a member of his group was carrying a knife when they allegedly attacked the 36-year-old.
But the youngster was remanded in custody to reappear in court on September 29.
The court also heard details about the series of messages sent in the moments after the alleged crime.
The young man allegedly claimed seeing the attack unfold made him laugh.
Ms Love added that with the likelihood the matters will be heard in adult courts due to the serious nature of the allegations, it was likely the teenager would remain in juvenile detention until at least next year if refused bail.
The shocking allegations were revealed as two teenagers faced Surry Hills Children’s Court on Tuesday over the assault, with police prosecutor Peter Mort calling it a ‘sickening’ attack and ‘violence of the highest order’, and flagging that they would likely be dealt with in an adult court
The youths are due to reappear before Surry Hills Children’s Court (pictured) on September 29
‘I ask Your Honour to consider the length of time this young person is likely to spend in custody considering the seriousness and the likelihood that will not be resolved in this court,’ she said.
‘The young person is Year 10 at High School and he has in the past had some mental health issues.
‘This young person has never come before a court before and has never had any court alternatives. He has no history of violence.’
‘I stomped on him and gutted his head he got knocked out after I bottled him on the head,’ the youngster allegedly wrote in one text message.
‘I put the shattered bottle in his stomach and then jetted (a co-accused) slit his face like 15 times and stabbed him in the eye.’
It is believed the alleged attacker was then asked by his friend if he knew the man.
‘Nah mate. Ahahahaha he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,’ he allegedly replied.
‘He (a co-accused) stuck it in his eye. Put it in deeper and swivelled the knife around. So funny.’
It is understood the alleged attack may have been sparked by a girl who were among the group claiming they had been ‘raped’ or ‘groped’ by the victim, but NSW Police have said the man was an ‘innocent victim’ (police at crime scene, pictured)
A 15-year-old allegedly sent these shocking text messages to a mate in the hours after he and his gang of friends allegedly bashed and stabbed their victim, leaving him blind in one eye and in a coma. He allegedly detailed the incident in depth and claimed that seeing the attack was ‘so funny’
Some other texts allegedly sent by a teenager are so graphic Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to publish them.
A magistrate called them the worst thing she has read in all her time working in law.
So far only two of those charged have been granted bail, with the rest remanded in custody until later this year.
In refusing to grant one of them bail on Tuesday, Magistrate Mary Ryan described the allegations as among the worst she had overseen.
‘Bail must be refused and with good reason, that I will detail so the community know why I am refusing bail for a 15-year-old with no previous criminal history,’ she said.
‘The facts before me and the actions taken by these young persons are abhorrent. It is reading that offends the normal notions of what a civil society is.
‘There is an indication of his thoughts in the form of text messages (he allegedly sent) that are so concerning, that it is just something I’ve not read as facts from an adult who has carried out an offence – let alone a young 15-year-old.
‘As an adult, as a mother, as a grandmother, it is very upsetting that this young person has allegedly behaved in this manner and reported back to his friends about his behaviour.’
Police will rely on witness accounts, CCTV and mobile phone footage, and text messages sent by the alleged offenders as part of their case
Magistrate Mary Ryan told Surry Hills Children’s Court that in all her years working in the legal system she ‘has never read anything so abhorrent’ as the details of the alleged attack (police are pictured at the scene of the attack)
The alleged messages, combined with CCTV and mobile phone footage, and the accounts of eyewitnesses, are set to form a major part of the prosecution case.
Some of the youngsters were arrested at their school this week.
Police prosecutor Peter Mort detailed allegations that as other youths fled, a 15-year-old remained behind stomping on the victim’s head while a 16-year-old allegedly plunged s knife into him.
‘We have evidence from a mobile phone, from a witness from a balcony nearby that we allege captures the incident,’ Mr Mort said.
‘We have direct evidence from a witness, being what they saw and heard. They were in the proximity and they heard the words: ”They’re going to stab him’.
‘We allege this young person is seen stomping on the head of the victim while he is on the ground. The victim was unable to protect himself.
‘We will allege a number of people from that group fled while he continued to stomp on the victim, and another co-accused joined.
‘A co-offender (allegedly) slashed the face of this male whilst he was on the ground.’
The alleged attackers and some friends had rented an Airbnb in the city for the night and CCTV footage from the apartment will be used in evidence
A 15-year-old boy was refused bail over the alleged attack, while his 16-year-old co-accused was allowed to go home under strict conditions (police pictured at crime scene)
HOW THE SHOCKING INCIDENT ALLEGEDLY UNFOLDED:
Friday, July 31
– A group of teenagers aged between 15 and 18 hire an Airbnb unit in Pyrmont, Sydney, for the night
– Just before 11pm one of the girls among the group is allegedly asked by her friend ‘is that the guy that raped you?’ to which she replies ‘yeah it is’. Despite this, police do not believe the man was known to the group and called him an ‘innocent victim’
– In the wake of the girl’s claims some members of the group allegedly rushed downstairs, knocked the man off his hire bike and began to assault him
– A 16-year-old member of the group then allegedly ran in with a knife and used it to ‘slice’ the man’s face seven times, before plunging it into his eye
Saturday, August 1
– After the group fled the area they allegedly began to send text messages in a social media chat about the attack
– One of the 15-year-old boys charged over the matter allegedly texted his mate and said he found the incident humorous
– The text allegedly read: ‘He stuck it in his eye. Put it in deeper and swivelled the knife around. So funny.’
– An 18-year-old, 17-year-old and 15-year-old were arrested by police on Saturday
Sunday, August 2
– While the trio faced court for the first time, police arrested two more teens in relation to the alleged gang attack, both of them aged 16
Monday, August 3
– Two 15-year-old boys are arrested at Day Street Police Station and Killara
Tuesday, August 4
– As details of the attack are aired in court, veteran Magistrate Mary Ryan calls them among ‘the worst things she has ever read’
– Police also arrested two more youths over the alleged attack, taking the total to nine