On New Year's Eve 2013, 18-year-old Daniel Christie was punched and gravely injured by Shaun McNeil. He was allegedly punched once in the head, causing him to fall and fracture his skull. McNeil had consumed a large amount of alcohol. This incident took place in almost the exact spot where Thomas Kelly had been 'king hit' in July 2012.
After 11 days on life support Daniel died on Saturday 11 January 2014. Shaun McNeil has subsequently had serious assault charges upgraded to include a charge of murder.
The behaviour of young men who drink heavily has attracted much media attention. According to psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, he is 'increasingly seeing a new breed of extremely narcissistic, under-fathered adolescent males … [with] no respect for authority, little exposure to tradition or ritual and few, if any, skills in anger management... A culture of self-indulgent thuggishness is being incubated, primarily in broken families, and fuelled by alcohol, drugs and the normalisation of violence in popular culture.' (Source: Editorial, SMH, 2 January 2014.)
These two editorials provide a useful overview of the incidence of alcohol-fueled violence by young men in places such as Kings Cross in Sydney:
- 'We must redouble our efforts against a culture of violence', Editorial, SMH, 2 January 2014.
- 'Enough is enough with Kings Cross lawlessness', Editorial, 12 July 2012 - although this editorial was written 18 months ago, it is still relevant and worth reading.
What do the statistics say?
- 'Violence in Sydney: Young men, alcohol and hot summer nights' by Don Weatherburn, SMH, 2 January 2014.
Two other case studies
- Thomas Kelly - R v Loveridge - See our case study in the LIAC Crime Library about Thomas Kelly in R v Loveridge - you will find a summary of this case, links to media reports and other useful information.
- Football player Russell Packer - 'Russell Packer of the Newcastle Knights sentenced to two years' jail' by Stephen Ryan, SMH, 6 January 2014 - the offender had been drinking alcohol and stomped on the victim's head after punching him.