A 16-year-old boy who was allegedly wielding a knife which slashed Brett Halcro has been refused bail in the NSW Children’s Court
The victim of a horror stabbing allegedly committed by a gang of elite private school boys had himself recently landed in court over a drunken assault and shoplifting.
Brett Halcro, 36, was left blind in one eye and in a coma after being set upon by as many as nine teenagers at Pyrmont in central Sydney about 11pm last Friday.
One of the teenagers allegedly ‘sliced’ him across the face seven times before driving a knife into his eye.
A NSW Children’s Court magistrate this week called text messages allegedly sent by one of the group in the hours after the crime the worst thing she had ever read.
Mr Halcro is in a coma at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, but is expected to be taken off a respirator in the coming days.
He was reported to have been in Sydney after getting stuck when the Victorian border closed, but it can be revealed that three months ago he punched a shopkeeper after being caught stealing.
Court documents seen by Daily Mail Australia state Mr Halcro had drunk half a bottle of vodka before walking into a City Convenience store on the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets about 4.15pm on May 9.
Once inside the shop he put a sausage roll and chocolate protein drink in his right trouser pocket and left without paying for the goods, which were worth $8.90.
After the shopkeeper followed the father-of-one out of the store and confronted him Mr Halcro hit him in the shoulder with his fist.
A bystander then also confronted Mr Halcro, who responded: ‘What’s your f***ing problem?’
The victim of a horror stabbing allegedly committed by a gang of private school boys had himself recently landed in court over a drunken assault and shoplifting. Brett Halcro (pictured) lost his eye and was left in a coma but is likely to be woken up in the coming days
A group of nine teenagers has been arrested over the disturbing attack in which they allegedly knocked Mr Halcro from his bike, (pictured) before stomping on him and stabbing him in the eye
The bystander corralled Mr Halcro back inside the store and the worker was able to shut the doors – locking the thief inside.
Mr Halcro was then placed under citizen’s arrest until police arrived.
The court documents revealed Mr Halcro has an alcohol dependence for which he was taking medication.
Mr Halcro pleaded guilty to common assault and shoplifting and was put on on a nine-month conditional release order in June.
NSW Police insist he was an ‘innocent victim’ in the horror attack at Pyrmont.
A member of the gang that allegedly stabbed and bashed Mr Halcro after knocking him off his bicycle turned on one of their own in the hours that followed.
The 16-year-old boy, who was among the first arrested over the disturbing attack was allegedly sent death threats after speaking to police.
Another teenager not directly involved in the alleged assault allegedly sent messages afterwards threatening to ‘kill’ the 16-year-old.
It is understood the messages were sent to a Snapchat group and involved the teen vowing to take revenge against the boy and telling friends he had ‘rolled’.
So far nine teenagers – some of them students at elite Sydney private schools – have been charged over the attack, but because of their age none can be identified.
Brett Halcro tried to steal a sausage roll and a chocolate protein drink from this 7-Eleven on the corner of Liverpool and Elizabeth Streets in Sydney then punched the shopkeeper
Theresa Keecherer (right), Mr Halcro’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young daughter, said she is ‘furious’ at his alleged attackers and believes if found guilty they should go to jail
Mr Halcro has been blinded in one eye and will suffer permanent disfigurement to his face as a result of the attack, but a relative said in a GoFundMe post he was set to be taken out of his coma by doctors at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in coming days.
‘Brett is making steady improvements. He is still heavily sedated and on a respirator, but doctors are hopeful to be able to wake him in coming days,’ he said.
‘The injuries to Brett’s face are substantial and confronting, but the surgeons have done an amazing job. Subsequent surgeries will be very likely.’
Mr Halcro’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young daughter told The Herald Sun she is ‘furious’ at his alleged attackers and is adamant they should be jailed if found guilty – regardless of their age.
Theresa Keecherer said she had not been able to bring herself to tell the four-year-old the bad news.
A drug-addicted 15-year-old (left) had his actions slammed as ‘vile’ by a magistrate,
‘She does wonder why he hasn’t been calling. We normally talk every night,’ she said.
‘His number one priority is our little girl. She is the highlight of his life.
‘I don’t care if they are 15 or 16 years old. They need to be locked up. It is psychopathic.’
Mr Halcro was rendered stuck in Sydney and unable to get home to Melbourne when the borders were shut due to COVID-19.
He had been up north helping his father when he was attacked.
Surry Hills Children’s Court this week heard that only one boy had shown remorse in the wake of the attack – and he was the one to allegedly be threatened by his mates.
‘This is not a case (like some of his co-accused) where he got onto a phone and sent text messages saying what took place,’ the threatened boy’s lawyer Peter O’Brien said.
‘After being reluctant to answer questions, eventually the young person does answer questions and gives police the name of the knife assailant to police.’
It was these alleged actions that led the boy to receive death threats from his friend.
His friend was charged with inciting the commission of crimes and refused bail this week.
The details of the alleged attack are so disturbing that an experienced magistrate of both adult and children’s courts called them the worst thing she had ever read.
‘I have never read anything so abhorrent,’ Magistrate Mary Ryan said.
‘The facts before me and the actions taken by these young persons are abhorrent. It is reading that offends the normal notions of what a civil society is.
‘There is an indication of his thoughts in the form of text messages (he sent) that are so concerning, that it is just something I’ve not read as facts from an adult who has carried out an offence.’
Police will rely on CCTV, mobile phone footage and eyewitness accounts as part of their case against the youngsters.
It is understood the alleged attack may have been sparked by two girls who were among the group claiming they had been ‘raped’ or ‘groped’ by the victim, but NSW Police have said the man was an ‘innocent victim’
The alleged attackers and some friends had rented an Airbnb in the city for the night and CCTV footage from the apartment will be used in evidence.
But among their most crucial evidence will be text messages sent by a 15-year-old to a friend after the attack in which he detailed the alleged assault of their victim.
The young man allegedly claimed watching the attack unfold made him laugh.
‘I stomped on him and gutted his head he got knocked out after I bottled him on the head,’ the youngster allegedly wrote in one text message.
‘I put the shattered bottle in his stomach and then jetted (a co-accused) slit his face like 15 times and stabbed him in the eye.’
It is believed the alleged attacker was then asked by his friend if he knew the man.
‘Nah mate. Ahahahaha he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,’ he allegedly replied.
‘He (a co-accused) stuck it in his eye. Put it in deeper and swivelled the knife around. So funny.’
A 15-year-old allegedly sent these shocking text messages to a mate in the hours after he and his gang of mates allegedly bashed and stabbed their victim, leaving him blind in one eye and in a coma. He allegedly detailed the incident in depth and claimed that seeing the incident unfold in front of him was ‘so funny’
A number of the youths are due to reappear before Surry Hills Children’s Court (pictured) on September 29
The court heard that the attack may have been sparked by a girl who was among the group claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the man.
In the moments before the alleged bashing, one of the girls was asked: ‘Is that the one who raped you?’ to which she allegedly replied: ‘Yeah that’s the one’.
But NSW Police claim this is false and the man was an innocent party.
Two of the alleged attackers were known to attend the prestigious Barker College in Sydney’s north, while another attended Carlingford High School.
Two of the alleged gang members have been released on bail, while the other seven remain in juvenile detention.
Despite the large number of arrests already made, police inquiries are continuing.
HOW THE SHOCKING INCIDENT ALLEGEDLY UNFOLDED:
Friday, July 31
– A group of teenagers aged between 15 and 18 hire an Airbnb unit in Pyrmont, Sydney, for the night
– Just before 11pm one of the girls among the group is allegedly asked by her friend ‘is that the guy that raped you?’ to which she replies ‘yeah it is’. Despite this, police do not believe the man was known to the group and called him an ‘innocent victim’
– In the wake of the girl’s claims some members of the group allegedly rushed downstairs, knocked the man off his hire bike and began to assault him
– A 16-year-old member of the group then allegedly ran in with a knife and used it to ‘slice’ the man’s face seven times, before plunging it into his eye
Saturday, August 1
– After the group fled the area they allegedly began to send text messages in a social media chat about the attack
– One of the 15-year-old boys charged over the matter allegedly text his mate and said he found the incident humerous
– The text allegedly read: ‘He stuck it in his eye. Put it in deeper and swivelled the knife around. So funny.’
– An 18-year-old, 17-year-old and 15-year-old were arrested by police on Saturday
Sunday, August 2
– While the trio faced court for the first time, police arrested two more teens in relation to the alleged gang attack, both of them aged 16
Monday, August 3
– Two 15-year-old boys are arrested at Day Street Police Station and Killara
Tuesday, August 4
– As details of the attack are aired in court, veteran Magistrate Mary Ryan calls them among ‘the worst things she has ever read’
– Police also arrested two more youths over the alleged attack, taking the total to nine
Source: Daily Mail AU