An Ashmont man has confessed to an unprovoked one-punch attack that left well-known chef and umpire Ryan Dedini bloodied and unconscious on the ground.
Nathan Michael Russell, 21, is now waiting to learn his fate after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the attack in the early hours of June 2.
Russell had originally pleaded not guilty, but unexpectedly changed his pleas in Wagga Local Court on Wednesday afternoon.
CCTV cameras showed Russell leaving the Home Tavern shortly after midnight before heading south-east on Fitzmaurice Street.
Five minutes later, Mr Dedini and a group of friends began walking towards Russell crossing at the intersection of Fitzmaurice and Gurwood streets.
That was when Russell delivered the unprovoked punch to the side of Mr Dedini’s head, causing him to fall to the ground and smash his head on the road.
Russell fled the scene and was found outside Target on Baylis Street a short time later. When police placed him under arrest the next day, he told them he had been at the Home Tavern, but did not remember anything further because he had been drunk.
Mr Dedini was rushed to Wagga Base Hospital with a fractured jaw, bulged discs in his back, and internal bleeding in his ear.
Now, three months after the attack, Mr Dedini said the attack left him feeling shaken for quite some time.
“I had a good couple of months when I really wouldn’t go downtown after dark,” he said.
“I’ve only just kind of been back out on the night scene recently, but I still try to get home by a reasonable hour – I won’t be out after 10:30pm or 11pm anymore.”
Mr Dedini he suspected the ongoing cost of the attack was well over $1000 after he had to fork out $800 for new glasses after they were smashed in and hundreds more for medical appointments.
He would like to see the full force of the law come down on his attacker when he returns to court for sentencing on October 29.
“It’s absolutely fantastic that he has now actually pleaded guilty, because he’s obviously finally realised what he’s done, but I think the magistrate still needs to come down hard on him,” Mr Dedini said.
“There needs to be more substantial penalties and the onus has to be back on them – it’s not anyone else’s fault, its not the substance's fault - they’re the only ones choosing to act this way.”
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