Cricket player Tom Freshwater heading to Scotland.

Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Cricket player Tom Freshwater heading to Scotland. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

Alleged coward punch: Family asks "Why?"

AT 3am Saturday morning, we received a phone call from Hervey Bay Police, to say our son, Tom had been a victim of a coward punch, while stepping in to break up a fight.

Not the sort of phone call any parent wants to receive and the police officer, being mindful of this, was very quick to say, "He's okay".

At this stage, it looks like Tom will be 'okay', however his 'okay' is not great.

He sustained multiple fractures to his skull, bleeding on the brain and behind his left eye and is being assessed for cognitive and hearing damage.

Talented sportsman recovering in hospital after alleged coward punch

Tom lays in a bed in the neurological ward at the RBWH in extreme pain.

Even more distressing is the fact that this story would have been played out many times in our cities and regional towns over the weekend.

As a society, we must ask ourselves, "Why?"

Why do we have so many in our community whose first reaction to resolve a situation is violence?

I agree with many others, we need to address the immediate issue and make a strong stance with sentencing to deter those who think brawling outside the pub after a night of drinking is okay.

Those who make a choice to throw a punch in a fight need to know, that punch could cause significant injury or death.

We need to consider the deeper issue, of what violence our children are being exposed to from such a young age.

Are we desensitising generations of children with the violence they are being exposed to on television news, movies, digital games and entertainment like cage fighting, where nothing is off limits?

What message are we sending to our young people?

Our family considers ourselves to be one of the lucky ones, and feel blessed to still have our son, but will this be the case for the next victim?


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