Relief in Australia as Barry Lyttle avoids jail for attack on brother
A man who critically injured his brother in Australia has received a 13-month suspended sentence.
Earlier this month Barry Lyttle, from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.
He was filmed on CCTV punching younger brother Patrick outside a Sydney nightclub in January.
Patrick spent a week in a coma but made a good recovery.
He had asked the court to show leniency to his brother.
Outside court Barry Lyttle said the family was now looking forward to going home.
He was not charged under new one-punch laws in Australia, which have mandatory sentences for alcohol-fuelled assaults. Tests showed he had only a small amount of alcohol in his system at the time.
The magistrate said Lyttle had shown sincere remorse and was unlikely to reoffend. He said: "This would appear not to be an act of alcohol-fuelled violence."
But he added that the community should not be subjected to violence and needed a clear message that it was not acceptable behaviour.
The brothers sat in court with their father and hugged and cried when the verdict was given.
After sentencing, Barry said: "It's been four months of absolute hell for the whole family and myself.
"I'd like to thank everybody for the support we've received here and back in Ireland.
"I'm also so proud of this man here (Patrick) as he's done incredibly well.
"We can go home and kickstart our lives again."
Patrick said he was grateful his brother had been given a suspended sentence so the family could get their lives back to normal.
"(Barry) has been through an awful lot, not just myself," he said.
"We're close and we all love each other, and that's never changed."