Christopher Knaus July 19, 2012
A drunken, unprovoked king-hit in a Civic nightclub could have killed this man earlier this year.
This victim, who does not want to be identified, was drinking with friends when he was mistaken for the friend of another young reveller who was flirting with a third man's girlfriend inside the club.
He was king-hit, knocking him unconscious and leaving a 7.6 centimetre cut on the side of his head, muscle detachment in his left eye, another cut on the back of his head, and significant bruising and swelling.
The attack, he said, nearly killed him.
''The first [hit] would have left me unconscious, then I was hit at least once more, and then the last one was probably my head hitting the ground, which was a concrete floor,'' he said.
''It could have gone either way to be honest, I had one of the nurses say I was bloody lucky not to have a broken neck and brain damage.''
The victim was left a bloody mess after the attack.
The death of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in an unprovoked king-hit in Kings Cross continues to fuel nationwide shock and outrage, and has renewed the focus on alcohol-fuelled violence in the notorious Sydney party district.
The NSW government has committed to audit every bar and nightclub in Kings Cross over the next few days as the fallout from Mr Kelly's death continues.
''That's why I'm really lucky, when I saw this poor guy on the news … some friends have said, 'That could have been you','' he said.
''One cowardly punch ends someone's life.''
Similar types of violence are seen on the streets of Civic most weekends.
There have been 515 assaults in Civic reported to police between January 2011 and last month.
The number of reported assaults has decreased this year, down to 76 in the March quarter this year from 101 in the same period last year.
The Kings Cross death has sparked calls from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education for further restrictions on the availability of alcohol, through earlier closing hours and increased vigilance in the responsible service of alcohol.
The foundation has also called on governments to address low alcohol prices, particularly at supermarkets, and irresponsible alcohol marketing and advertising campaigns.
Chief executive Michael Thorn said the ACT's liquor licensing laws, introduced in 2010, should be viewed as a leading example for the rest of the country.
''I think the ACT's risk-based licensing approach is probably leading Australia, certainly in the thinking,'' Mr Thorn said.
ACT Policing has urged Canberrans to take care in the city, particularly in the busy warmer months, by staying with friends, taking responsibility for their own actions, and walking away from confrontations.
City Beats senior constable David Power said there were difficulties in investigating drunken assaults, although he said the network of closed circuit television cameras in the city was helpful.
''Sometimes they can give us information on the night, which is great, but when it comes to remembering it later, whether they remember the same thing is different,'' Mr Power said.
''What they can remember the next day or even at the time is blurred by the alcohol.
''You obviously can't tender something from somebody that's crazily intoxicated to the courts, they wouldn't be happy with it.''