A Belfast man who suffered life-changing brain injuries during a one-punch attack in Australia has claimed his condition was not taken seriously enough by the legal authorities.
Michael Hyndman, 24, was celebrating the new year in Sydney in January this year when he was struck and hit his head, causing bleeding to the brain.
Part of his skull had to be removed, he spent weeks in hospital recovering and had to learn to walk and talk again.
He said two people were charged with affray and received 18-month suspended sentences.
“I believe my injuries were not taken into consideration when prosecuting them for affray, it was a generic sentence no matter what injuries were sustained.”
Mr Hyndman alleged his case would have been treated differently by prosecutors were he still in Australia and not home in Belfast.
The New South Wales Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was not immediately available for comment.
Mr Hyndman said: “It is disappointing, I just feel like if I was an Australian citizen they would take it more seriously, I am just a backpacker from another country.”
The quantity surveyor said his injuries had left him unable to play contact sports or go to the gym and made him anxious about venturing out for a night-out.
“I am afraid of things falling on my head or being bumped into, things that people normally do.”