'Pack attack' shocks tourists
LAUREN Gardiner wakes up every day wondering if her husband is going to survive the injuries he suffered while on holiday in Yamba 10 days ago.
Matt Gardiner received serious head injuries when he was king hit twice near the roundabout at the top of Coldstream Street on February 5.
“If nothing goes wrong Matt won’t be able to work or leave the house for two months,” Lauren said.
“But doctors have warned us that at any moment in the next few weeks something could happen and everything could turn to s..t.
“I never want this to happen to anyone.”
The Gardiners and Lauren’s sister and partner, all from the Gold Coast, had just left the Pacific Hotel on the Friday night when Lauren said a man came out of nowhere and allegedly punched her husband.
She said the attack was unprovoked.
Matt fell to the ground and as he lay unconscious in a pool of blood, Lauren said a pack of up to 15 young men jumped over her husband to attack her brother-in-law, Dayne Burns.
Police allege five people attacked the men.
Lauren said a large crowd gathered to see what was happening and thankfully security guards from the Pacific Hotel jumped in to help stop the fight.
If their trip to Yamba wasn’t already a nightmare, there was one final blow to come when police called Lauren over to assist with her husband’s recovery.
“While I was on my hands and knees trying to help save my husband’s life, someone stole my bag,” she said.
“I lost my phone, my wallet and my bag.”
Lauren said she couldn’t believe someone could be so low.
Matt was taken to Lismore Base Hospital in a serious condition before being transferred to the Gold Coast.
CT scans revealed three brain bleeds and bruises.
Dayne suffered grazes to one side of his face.
Matt was discharged on Sunday, but has to be under constant observation in case his condition deteriorates.
Lauren said he was in severe pain, had ringing in his head and needed help going to the bathroom.
With neither of them able to work, Lauren said there was also the added stress of how they would pay their bills.
“None of this should have happened,” she said.
“Matt’s a good worker and a good father and husband.
“It’s just been horrible, and for what?
“They didn’t even steal his wallet.
“Do they feel really good about it?
“Fifteen people bashing one guy? It just doesn’t make sense.”
The violent attack in Yamba came as a surprise to Lauren and her family.
Lauren’s mother had saved for 18 months to bring her family to Yamba for a holiday.
Lauren said they were all hard workers and had looked forward to the relaxing break in the quiet seaside town.
The family have since heard numerous stories from locals claiming that assaults had become frequent in Yamba.
Lauren said this was backed up by news of the riot in Yamba on Saturday night.
Police have charged a 23-year-old Yamba man with assault in relation to the attacks.
The Yamba man was released on conditional bail and is to appear at the Maclean Local Court on April 13.
Police have seized and reviewed CCTV footage and are now looking at further inquiries into the assaults.
Lauren’s mobile phone has also been recovered by police and investigations into the stolen handbag continue.
Anyone who witnessed the assaults on February 5 or anyone with information has been urged to contact Yamba Police on 6646 2000.