Mother of coward-punch victim hopes for change
AS NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell prepared to unveil his plan to tackle out of control drunken violence on Monday night, the mother of a king hit victim hoped the changes would lead to justice for those whose lives had been irrevocably changed.
Liz Brook didn't have to bury her child but every day she is reminded that the aspiring young diesel mechanic she had so many dreams for, was lost forever the day he fell and hit his head on a hard road in 2010.
Just like Daniel Christie, whose death and funeral last week is believed to have added pressure to the State Government to fast rack new laws, Jake Brook was 18 when he was hit in an unprovoked attack during New Years celebrations near Coffs Harbour.
After being pronounced clinically dead twice and undergoing life-threatening brain surgery, Jake woke up but his family soon learned that nothing was every going to be the same.
Three years later, Jake still requires 24 hour care, he has the learning and talking ability of a three-year-old and doctors have confirmed his condition will only deteriorate.
Ms Brook has much respect for the families who have lost their loved ones but she wants the NSW Government to ensure the new laws provide justice not only for the victims who are no longer here but also for those who have been sentenced to a life of misery.
"When families lose a young person - they can remember them as they were...happy and healthy," Ms Brook said
"We can remember the old Jake but the reality is, we are reminded of the nightmare every day.
"It's time the government acknowledged the silent victims - people like Jake who survive the punch but don't get to truly live."
The parents of king hit victim Thomas Kelly have been campaigning for tougher regulations since their son was fatally punched in Kings Cross in 2012.
Public pressure peaked at the weekend when a 21-year-old was knocked unconscious just days after coward punch victim Daniel Christie was farewelled by grieving family and friends.
Mr O'Farrell confirmed the changes to liquor laws, being considered by NSW Cabinet on Monday, included, among other things, penalties for those who committed crimes under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
It was not clear whether the changes would specifically deal with the long awaited one-punch legislation, which Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner had previously flagged for debate in March.
The documents are expected to be tabled in NSW Parliament on Tuesday morning.