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Victim tells court how rock through windscreen left him with brain injury


Victim tells court how rock through windscreen left him with brain injury

Patrick Garrett rarely goes out any more, embarrassed and uncomfortable about the deep scars in his forehead caused by a rock that smashed through his windscreen and knocked him unconscious while driving.

A painter by trade, Mr Garrett, known as "Patty", was on his way home from work on the New England Highway near Glen Innes, in northern NSW, when a group of five people being chased by police threw a stone out the window of their Holden Commodore into oncoming traffic.

The rock penetrated the windscreen of Mr Garrett's four-wheel-drive and struck him on the head, pushing bone and rock into his brain. His father, Steve, who was in the passenger seat, managed to bring the vehicle under control and to a stop two kilometres down the road.

"In those few seconds everything I was and my future were absolutely changed," Mr Garrett told the Sydney District Court on Tuesday.

The now 30-year-old underwent nine hours of emergency brain surgery in which a metal plate was inserted into his skull. He was placed in an induced coma for almost two weeks, suffered 22 days of post-traumatic amnesia and spent months in rehabilitation. He has a permanent brain injury, reduced eyesight, fatigue, little sense of taste and no sense of smell.

"Before suffering this unprovoked attack on me I was fit and healthy, I loved motorbike riding, swimming, hiking and camping. I also enjoyed going out and socialising," he said in a victim impact statement read out by his brother, Shane.

He can no longer work full time, cannot drive alone, ride a motorbike or go hiking.

"I have visible scars on my forehead that will be there for life. It is uncomfortable and embarrassing when people stare at my forehead when talking to me. I rarely go out any more and don't socialise with my friends very often," he said.

"Life as I knew it was over."

References and further information

This article was originally produced by the Sydney Morning Herald.


To view the rest of the article, visit the Sydney Morning Herald website.


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