Gatton pub bashing victim in induced coma

A MAN remains in an induced coma after a fight outside a Gatton pub while his alleged attacker has been released on bail.

Matthew John Deakin stood silently in Toowoomba Magistrates Court this morning, dressed in prison-issue browns, while the court was adjourned for a condition update on his alleged victim.

The court was told Carl William Norris, 25, remained in an induced coma in Princess Alexandra Hospital with injuries sustained during a fight outside the Railway St hotel in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Natalie Bugden told the court Mr Norris had been in a "touch and go" condition over the weekend, but breathing tubes had been removed on Sunday.

Since then, his condition had not deteriorated or improved and had been taken out of intensive care.

She said it was still "too soon to say" if there Mr Norris had suffered any permanent brain damage.

Mr Deakin, 19, is charged with one count of assault grievous bodily harm while adversely affected.

Police allege a fight broke out between the two men outside the Railway St hotel during which Mr Norris was knocked unconscious and suffered head injuries.

Defence solicitor Shane MacDonald told the court extensive investigations were needed to determine any provocation for the fight, but submitted his client had been drinking that night.

He said his client had been supported by his Gold Coast-based family who had driven to Toowoomba to be in court.

He said Mr Deakin had been employed as a watermelon picker in Gatton and, if released on bail, would have gainful employment as a furniture removalist on the Gold Coast.

Mr MacDonald said no weapon had been involved in the alleged incident and that the altercation was "out of character".

He called for a six to eight-week adjournment for a thorough police investigation including taking witness statements from other patrons of the pub.

He submitted the serious injuries were "caused not by the blow but by him striking his head on the concrete curbing".

"It will take a significant period of time for this to be investigated," he said.

Acting Magistrate Roger Stark ordered Mr Deakin be released on bail with strict conditions including subjecting to random breath tests when reporting to Burleigh Heads police every Monday.

He adjourned the matter for mention in Ipswich Magistrates Court on March 2.



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