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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Barry and Patrick Lyttle return to Ireland

Barry and Patrick Lyttle from Northern Ireland were on holiday with their father.  The boys went drinking at Kings Cross and in the early hours of January 3, they started to argue outside a nightclub. Barry hit his brother just once and he fell to the ground unconscious.  He was rushed to hospital and placed on life support and remained in a coma for six days.

Barry Lyttle at the scene

Barry was arrested and when he got to jail, he was told by other inmates about our 'coward's one punch law' that can send a perpetrator to jail for a very long time. He was justifiably terrified.

However, he was let out on bail to be by his brother's bedside and has just received a suspended sentence and allowed to go home.

During the judicial process and when Patrick was finally released from hospital, the brothers stood together and Patrick asked the court to show leniency to his brother.  And it did.  In return, they both promised to speak to young people in Ireland about the consequences of violence.

The law was very kind to this family and Barry is a very lucky man indeed, not only because he's free to return home to Ireland but because his brother Patrick has forgiven him.  He will have to live with the brain injury he gave him for the rest of his life.

Patrick and his girlfriend 

Their father called the incident an "accident" but I don't buy it. You don't accidentally punch someone into unconsciousness by accident, it's a deliberate action, drunk or sober.

And because our love affair with the Irish people knows no bounds, this family should count their lucky stars.