News

Emotions run high as one punch attacker sentenced in court

The tragic consequences of the damage a single punch can cause were all too clear when 20-year-old Kyle Alan Morris faced sentence in Bundaberg District Court.
The tragic consequences of the damage a single punch can cause were all too clear when 20-year-old Kyle Alan Morris faced sentence in Bundaberg District Court. Mike Knott

THE TRAGIC consequences of the damage a single punch can cause were all too clear when 20-year-old Kyle Alan Morris faced sentence in Bundaberg District Court.

Emotions ran high and tears were flowing in court today as Morris, his victim and both their families relived the night all their lives changed for the worse.

Twenty-year-old Morris pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to 35-year-old Tyla Rackemann outside the Federal Hotel in Childers on March 1, 2013.

Crown prosecutor Alex Stark said as the pub was closing late that evening, Morris' victim Tyla Rackemann, a father of two, was sitting against a chainlink fence outside the hotel.

The court heard Morris began asking Mr Rackemann questions and the pair briefly exchanged words and walked toward one another before Morris punched him in the face.

"Witnesses described him as being knocked out on his feet," Mr Stark said.

"There was a very audible ... a loud crunching noise (when Mr Rackemann's head hit the ground)."

The 35-year-old received a serious and permanent traumatic brain injury, now needs round-the-clock supervision and will never be able to work or drive again.

Defence barrister Michael Holohan tendered letters from a number of people including Morris' mother and previous employers who said he was an honest, reliable young man and the violence displayed that night was out of character for him.

"Mr Morris, if he had his time again, would do things very very different," Mr Holohan said.

"It was all over in a matter of a second or two."

Judge Brendan Butler said Mr Rackemann's life would never be the same and while Morris would have the chance to live a full, healthy life with the prospect of employment, his victim would never have that possibility.

"He in effect has a life sentence," Judge Butler said of Mr Rackemann's permanent brain damage.

"This has had an impact not only on him but of course on those who love and need to care for him."

Morris was sentenced to five years in jail with parole eligibility in 20 months on November 26, 2015.

"You could have avoided the situation either by desisting from questioning an obviously intoxicated person, particularly after he responded with a rude (hand) gesture," Judge Butler said.

"I do accept that you're sorry about what happened and if you had your time again you would not have acted in that way however I must treat your remorse as being motivated not only by your recognition of the suffering of the complainant and his family but also the recognition of consequences for yourself and your family."

Outside court, a woman who had been supporting Morris shouted obscenities at the victim and his family, telling them to "burn in hell".

In Saturday's NewsMail, the victim's mother tells of her heartache and the enormous impact the incident has had on a whole family.

Topics:  bundaberg, court, one punch can kill campaign




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Five key election issues for sugar region economies

Healthy looking sugarcane at Goodwood Rd, Goodwood. Photo Brittany Cook / Isis Town & Country

Canegrowers are urging politicla parties to commit to future growth.

Trailer Tests with Tim and Tabitha

Rider Tim and trusty pony Tabitha were first to test new trailer.

Help us keep workplaces fair

Financial Planning - Couple getting consulted

Fair Work ombudsman Natalie James appealed to the community for help

Latest deals and offers

Health Concerns

HEALTH CONCERNS: Edenbrook Estate residents are concerned about the proposed development of a Windrow Composting Facility at Kay McDuff Drive Norville. Craig Brooks, Jodie Brooks, Keith Mansfield, Ron Geyer, Na Geyer, Clinton Church, Robert Astill, June Lavander, Leah Whaleboat, Joe Galea, Andrea Astill, Maureen Cox and Larry Cox. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

HEALTH CONCERNS: Edenbrook Estate residents are concerned about the proposed...

Dos and don'ts of dog attacks

A video showing what to do and what not to do when confronted by an angry or...

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked