Savage attack in Melbourne's north leaves tourist with bleeding to the brain, broken jaw

The Age

By Matilda Boseley

March 31, 2019

Police are on the hunt for a man who savagely bashed an American tourist in a Preston car park, leaving him with memory loss, bleeding to the brain and a broken jaw.

After performing at a music concert, the 32-year-old victim got off a tram near Bell Street and Plenty Road around 11.30pm on Wednesday night.

As he walked through a car park a man began to follow him, chasing him down and hitting him repeatedly to the head and face.

Detective Senior Constable Matthew Coleiro, of Preston police, said the attacker continued to beat the man even after he fell unconscious.

"The victim regains consciousness and once that has occurred the male has continued to seriously assault the victim again to the point he is unconscious, standing over his body taunting him."

The attacker left the man on the ground where he lay for around 20 minutes. Once he regained consciousness and got to his feet he walked to Bell Street where a passer-by called for an ambulance. "Due to his injuries he required immediate surgery," said Senior Detective Coleiro.

The man required brain surgery to treat internal bleeding and facial surgery because of his broken jaw. He remains in hospital and can not recall the assault due to serious memory loss.

"It's a terrifying assault that's occurred. We don't know why at this point, it appears to be unmotivated so far," said Senior Detective Coleiro.

The victim was due to fly home to America on Saturday.

Police are now searching for the attacker. They are looking for a man in his 30s with a slim build, balding with short dark hair and a dark beard. He was wearing a T-shirt with a white motif on the front, knee-length cargo shorts and was carrying a large backpack.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information relating to the identity of the unknown man is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at

Link between concussion and brain damage to ensure AFL debate rages

Class action from retirees will force the AFL to adjust its concussion management policy

The Guardian

Nicole Hayes

Mon 19 Mar 2018

Adelaide’s last chance to make consecutive AFLW grand finals took a serious hit onSunday when their co-captain Chelsea Randall received a knock to her head, and was taken from the ground. Minutes later, as Collingwood goaled to put themselves in a match-winning lead, Randall had to be held back by officials on the interchange bench, such was her determination to return to the field to rescue her team’s season. Try as she might, Randall could not return because the AFL’s concussion policy was in play – she was done for the day, and yet again, a player’s matchtime was cut short by concussion.

As the clock ticks toward round one of the men’s competition, the ongoing spectre of head injuries and concussion management looms over the AFL community, spurred on by last month’s revelations that St Kilda champion and Indigenous rights icon Nicky Winmar is reportedly suffering structural and functional brain damage. 

Manager Peter Jess. The plaintiffs currently include former Essendon and Geelong ruckman John Barnes, retired Melbourne and North Melbourne player Shaun Smith and former Brownlow medallist and four-time premiership player at Hawthorn, John Platten. Each of these players, Jess has stated, have identified a range of symptoms associated with brain damage, from dramatic mood swings and anger management through to significant memory loss.

Platten, who was concussed 36 times in his playing career, is concerned he may be experiencing early stages Alzheimer’s disease. As the suit gathers attention, more formerplayers are considering their options, a particularly problematic situation for the AFL given the growing evidence and research connecting concussion and head trauma with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Concussion is not just a concern for past players. The AFL injury survey last year revealed that the number of games lost to concussion has been rising. On Monday, the Western Bulldogs announced that Liam Picken will miss an indefinite period of football as he recovers from his latest concussion, the club choosing to ‘conservatively’ manage him.

In perhaps the worst individual case amongst current players, former No 1 draft pick and St Kilda forward Paddy McCartin’s 2017 season was cut short at round 12 after he suffered his sixth concussion incident since 2014.

His return during the JLT pre-season series earlier this year raises many complicated issues for the AFL, given the pending lawsuit, and questions around the AFL concussion management policy going forward.

Six players retired last year as a result of concussion-related concerns, prompting the AFLPA to broaden the criteria for player payouts for career-ending injuries to include concussion.

However, according to Jess, these players did not suffer specific “traumatic” incidents so much as an accumulation of “sub-clinical concussions” – that is, undiagnosed concussions.

Going forward, the AFL will thus need to ensure that sub-clinical concussions are also considered in its management policy.

In response to the concussion epidemic, the stated position of the AFL is to empower theMRP chief, Michael Christian, to impose penalties and charges aimed, more than ever, at protecting the head. This onus was evident in the first MRP decision of the pre-season competition, which saw Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray suspended for one match for high contact against West Coast’s Jeremy McGovern, who was forced to leave the ground after showing signs of concussion. Christian noted McGovern’s inability to return to play as part of his judgement.

Despite the emphasis on protecting the head, however, there has been much confusion around the interpretation of these rules. The controversial MRP decision to allow Tiger Trent Cotchin to play in last year’s grand final despite the serious head injury incurred by GWS’s Dylan Shiel seemed inconsistent with this more conservative approach to head protection, particularly when you factor in the suspensions of Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield and Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy a few weeks earlier for tackles – now deemed illegal – which left their opponents concussed.

If the AFL’s stated desire to protect the head and reduce occurrences of concussion is to be believed, the interpretation of the rules around a fair bump or tackle will need to be consistent on the field and at the MRP in season 2018. Most concede that it is almost impossible to erase head contact from footy altogether, or in any contact sport, so the emphasis going forward must also be on refining protocols for diagnosis and treatment to ensure players are given the best chance at recovery.

The AFL currently has a head injury assessment test for when players come off the field showing concussion symptoms, which puts the onus on club doctors to determine whether a player should be allowed to return to the match. Any sign of concussion currently rules out further play.

The AFL is also examining whether to extend this to include automatic exclusion from playing the following week given neuroscientists have argued that one to four weeks rest is required for head knocks, depending on their severity.

This might be best addressed with newly allocated funds that the AFLPA secured in last year’s contract negotiations. However, as Jess has argued, these are currently focused on finding a link between concussion and long-term or permanent brain injury, which, he says, has already been proven many times over. This funding could therefore instead be directed towards improving diagnostics and treatment in the context of the high-contact environment that is AFL.

With the new one-person MRP system of review under pressure to reduce head high contact and “protect the head” where possible, whatever else happens in 2018, concussion will continue to cause problems at AFL House.

Sports commentator Billy J Smith dies after a fall

Brisbane Times

By Jocelyn Garcia

February 27, 2019

Australian sports fans are mourning the death of Brisbane-based sports commentator Billy J Smith, who died at the age of 73.

According to several media reports, Smith died from head injuries after a fall on Brisbane's Caxton Street, near his beloved Lang Park, after a day out with friends on Tuesday.

He made a name for himself in Brisbane as a rugby league commentator for radio and television and hosted popular game show It's a Knockout in the 1980s.

Smith moved on to 4BC as a host on the Sports Today show 10 years ago.Radio 4BC announcer Mark Braybrook saidSmith's positive mood was infectious andwould always bring a smile to his face."Like everywhere he went, work included, he would always light up the room and was an absolute pleasure to work with," he said.

"He was always life of party and made things enjoyable no matter where he went."

Braybrook said he was very well-respectedand had achieved so much well before his career at 4BC.

"Billy J was just someone who loved being on air, loved talking to people and was passionate about sports," he said.

"He will be sorely missed by everyone he worked with, especially here at 4BC." A photo of Smith was shared on Twitter, which hung on the wall at Seven News Brisbane with an extensive caption.

"Self proclaimed teenage idol of the Brisbane media, Billy J Smith is probably the best known sports presenter in Queensland," it read.

"In his days with radio 4IP, he became famous for his league broadcasts from scaffolding and roof tops when his station was banned from calling games at the venue.

"He was the first to present a regular sports segment within Channel Seven until 1982 through to 1982, many of his good friend Mick Veivers whom he nicknamed The Farmer, a tag which stuck to this day.

"Billy is now the senior rugby league commentator with Channel Ten and has covered league around the world as well as two Olympics."

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Page 10 of 32

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