WHO DID THIS? Wesley Fernando at Grafton Base Hospital.
WHO DID THIS? Wesley Fernando at Grafton Base Hospital. Daily Examiner

Wesley wants answers on assault

AS he lay battered, bruised and semi-conscious at Grafton Base Hospital after being assaulted outside a Grafton pub, Wesley Fernando thought justice would be done to the group of men he claims kicked him while he was down on the road.

But three weeks after his frightening ordeal at the Village Green Hotel, Mr Fernando is worried no charges will be laid by police and no-one will have to answer for their actions.

As the CEO of the Ngerrie Aboriginal Land Council, Mr Fernando is a respected member of the local Goori community and is concerned his attackers would continue their behaviour if not convicted of their crime.

“If I did this to someone, I can guarantee you I would have been in the lock up on the same night,” Mr Fernando said.

He is calling for witnesses to the assault, which occurred just outside one of the hotel’s Pound Street doors near the poker machine room about 11.30pm on Friday, October 16.

Mr Fernando was hospitalised for four days after the assault.

Below is an edited version of the statement Mr Fernando provided to The Daily Examiner.

I attended the Village Green Hotel on the above mentioned night with four friends. I went to the bar to buy two drinks, one for me and one for my friend. Immediately after we had finished our drinks a security guard asked my friend to leave the premises. He asked why as he felt he was not intoxicated. I stepped in as I knew the guards and said ‘okay, I’ll take him, and we will leave’ because I didn’t want a scene made. So I grabbed my friend and continued out the door.

I noticed a large group of people and I excused myself around them. As I walked past, some of these guys said something like – ‘good one idiot’ and my friend retaliated by saying something back.

As he did, a group of guys confronted him so I came back and grabbed him and said ‘we don’t need this, let’s just go’. The last thing I saw was a person throwing punches at me - then I woke up in hospital.

The injuries I suffered were severe facial swelling and cuts and also my head was split open from the impact of it hitting the road, bruised brain, severe bruising on my elbow and an injured thumb.

I have missed over two weeks of work and am still not fully recovered from the head injuries. I was told not to go back to work for six weeks, but I have a family and a mortgage and I could not afford to take any more time off.

My head injury leaves me feeling spacey in the head and I find it hard to concentrate. I have lost 10kgs as I could not eat for three days in hospital. As CEO of the Local Aboriginal Land Council, I am a proud Aboriginal man with great family and cultural values.

I have worked for this community for the past 10 years and am well respected by those who know me. I am not a violent person; it’s simply not in my nature. I have always ensured that my integrity and respect is maintained and I take the utmost pride in serving my community.

The reason I am pursuing this is because I want justice for the pain and suffering of not only me but my family and friends and the life long scars this has imposed on me - physicallyand mentally. These thugs tried to take my life - these guys nearly took me away from the people I love the most - my family and friends.

I ask the Grafton community to please come forward as I know there were up to 200 people at the venue and I know many have seen this disgusting act of cowardice. These thugs’ actions show no regard for human life and I don’t want to see someone else’s brother, uncle, father or son fall victim to them.

Witnesses are asked to contact Grafton police with information about the incident.

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