'That's what you get for spilling my beer': punch thrown with provocation

GUILTY PLEA: Karl Sibley has pleaaded guilty to the single punch that landed Orange teenager Tom Brown in a coma and will be sentenced next month.

GUILTY PLEA: Karl Sibley has pleaaded guilty to the single punch that landed Orange teenager Tom Brown in a coma and will be sentenced next month.

ORANGE teenager Tom Brown’s attacker has pleaded guilty to the single punch that landed Mr Brown in a coma in Westmead Hospital for weeks but Orange court has heard the attack wasn’t  unprovoked. 

Karl Sibley, of Cumnock, attended the same party, in Honeyman Drive, as Mr  Brown on Australia Day this year but after Sibley punched Mr Brown in the head, he left in a taxi and Mr Brown left in an ambulance. 

However, amended police facts, agreed to by Sibley, said Mr Brown, who was 19 at the time, instigated the altercation between the two men after he smashed Sibley’s drink from his hand, fell over, then “shaped up” to Sibley with closed fists. 

Mr Brown was at the party with his girlfriend, along with about 20 other people who were playing drinking games. 

During the evening, Mr Brown “flipped”, or touched with his cupped hands, a number of male guests in the groin, including Sibley. 

At around 11.50pm, Mr Brown was asked to leave the party by the host because he was too drunk , his behaviour was obnoxious and he had previously been in a “physical confrontation” with another guest. 

Yet as Mr Brown went to leave the house he deliberately knocked Sibley’s beer from his hand, called him a “faggot” and challenged the 21-year-old. 

A party guest told the men “no fighting inside, take it outside”.

They did.  

Sibley then walked up to Mr Brown and punched him once to the left side of his face. 

He then walked away and left Mr Brown unconscious on the ground.

“That’s what you get for spilling my beer,” he said. 

Mr Brown suffered a skull fracture and  bleeding on the brain. He had neurosurgery, was in a coma until mid-February and developed pneumonia. 

His doctor says Mr Brown suffers fatigue and ongoing muscle stiffness, according to police facts. Sibley is expected to be sentenced in the Orange District Court when it sits in August.

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