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Blog

Alcohol and a moment of rage transformed an otherwise ordinary day for Fady Taiba and James Ian Longworth

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Alcohol and a moment of rage transformed an otherwise ordinary day for Fady Taiba and James Ian Longworth

Two men get up for work on a Friday morning. They are completely unaware they will meet later that night and both of their lives will change forever.

Fady Taiba, a 43-year-old father of four, quietly slipped out of bed at his Camden home at 5.10 in the morning and drove his car to Campbelltown railway station. By 7.20am he was getting off the train at St Leonards ready to start work at Royal North Shore Hospital as a training and risk officer.

Ten minutes and another lifetime away, James Ian Longworth was preparing for the short commute into the CBD from his mother's comfortable Middle Cove home. The 32-year-old banker had only recently returned to Sydney after six years in London.

Both men were used to family sacrifice.

Mr Taiba had been working two jobs for 23 years so that his family did not miss out.


This was a big weekend. His 17-year-old son Adam was about to travel to Adelaide for a national swimming championship and 13-year-old Noah was due to perform live on The X Factor as a backup dancer on Sunday.

Longworth was building on a promising finance degree and had secured UK residency when tragedy struck. After his father Ian died he chose to
return home to be with his mother and took a job in the market support division of UBS investment bank.

Two men whose lives were worlds apart but would tragically collide that day.

For Mr Taiba, it was a typical day spent training people on how to take care of themselves and deal with unexpected situations. At 4pm he finished, took a quick shower and changed into his black security uniform before catching the train across the Harbour Bridge to Wynyard.

At 4.40pm he had time to duck into Hungry Jacks for his favourite, a vegie burger, before putting on his identity tag and stepping up to the door of Bar 333 on George Street.

"I spent years as a bouncer in King's Cross and Scruffy Murphys before I started here. It was good because these were all nice people, business people, well dressed and in suits," he said.

At 5pm he was in position, alone on the door and already thinking about the night bus home, a few hours sleep and turning out for his cricket team in the morning.


Longworth had spent the day working in the city. He had landed a short-term, two-week contract position assisting UBS with processing volumes of paperwork in the back office.

By 6pm he had finished and, dressed in the bankers' uniform of black suit and pale blue shirt, he piled out of the bank's Chifley Tower office and joined three colleagues, two men and a woman, for a Friday night drink.

They joined hundreds of CBD workers at bars along the George Street strip, from the Queen Victoria Building up to The Rocks.

The two unconnected men's lives were now on a collision course.

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