Bashers leave Tex for dead

WALKING home from the pub was Terry Smyth's only crime. For that he was bashed and left to die.

Mr Smyth, known affectionately to locals as Tex, was left bleeding and unconscious in a ferocious attack outside the Baptist Church in Oliver Street, Grafton.

Last Friday night, just as he has done for the past 30 years, Mr Smyth left the Jacaranda Hotel around 10.30pm to begin his walk home.

Mr Smyth said he remembered seeing three young men walking toward him.

He said they did not appear threatening and did not say anything to him.

"Whenever I pass people on my way home I always put my head down so they don't think I'm eye-balling them," Mr Smyth said.

"All I can remember is dipping my head then waking up in the gutter with Judy (a work colleague) standing over me. "The police couldn't believe I was alive when they saw the blood."

Mr Smyth described his attackers as white males aged x about 18 or 19.

Doctors told Mr Smyth he was most probably hit with a blunt weapon, such as a baseball bat or a block of wood. State Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, is so incensed about the incident he is offering a $1000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the men. "It's getting too much," Mr Cansdell said.

"These young grubs have got to pull their heads in." Mr Cansdell said locals were sick of the crime.

He said he had been approached on several occasions by people who said they would take action into their own hands.

"Look, I don't condone vigilante action, but I fully understand the emotion behind people wanting to stop the violence going on in this community," Mr Cansdell said.

"I can try to talk these people out of it, but I can't stop them."

Mr Cansdell described Mr Smyth's attack as 'a thrill bashing' and said that magistrates were part of the problem. "We need magistrates that will throw the book at these grubs and send a clear message that the community will not tolerate these types of crimes." Mr Cansdell said anyone with information could contact him in confidence if they didn't want to go to the police. His office phone number is 6643 1244.

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