A FORMER panel beater was arrested while partying in a nightclub just hours after he kicked a former political candidate in the head leaving him in a coma.

Kyle Luke Young claims he was so drunk he had no memory of the horrific assault outside a Surfers Paradise toilet block on November 1 last year, which left Matt Donovan fighting for his life.

The 26-year-old has written an apology to Mr Donovan and claims he no longer drinks, has gone to Alcoholics Anonymous and undertaken a substance abuse program.

Young pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court on Wednesday to grievous bodily harm.

Matthew Donovan in a coma at the Gold Coast University Hospital after he was attacked at Surfers Paradise.
Matthew Donovan in a coma at the Gold Coast University Hospital after he was attacked at Surfers Paradise.

Judge Ken Barlow sentenced him to three years prison to be released after he has served 10 months.

Upon release Young will also have to complete 50 hours of community service within a year.

"You are very lucky and so is Mr Donovan that your punches and kicks did not kill him," Judge Barlow said.

"You must be aware of a lot of reports of incidents like these where the victim died."

Distressing CCTV footage of the incident was played to the court.

It showed Mr Donovan waiting outside the public toilet in Appel Park, Surfers Paradise.

He then exchanges words with a friend of Young's who kicks him in the chest.

Young then punches Mr Donovan in the head, causing his head to bounce on the concrete.

When two friends try to pull Young away, Young breaks free and kicks Mr Donovan in the head while he is still on the ground.

They leave while Mr Donovan lays on the ground unconscious.

Mr Donovan was in hospital for seven days, in a coma for 36 hours and placed on life support. He was left with bleeding on the brain and severe skull and face fractures.

Mr Donovan was a Labor candidate for Surfers Paradise in 2012 and is currently studying business at Griffith University.

Matthew Donovan months after the brutal bashing inside a Gold Coast toilet block. Picture: Jerad Williams
Matthew Donovan months after the brutal bashing inside a Gold Coast toilet block. Picture: Jerad Williams

Crown prosecutor Natalie Lima said Young admitted to having 12 shots of alcohol before going out and did not remember what happened between leaving for Surfers Paradise and getting arrested.

"Particularly cowardly is the kick to the head as he was trying to get up," she said.

Ms Lima said that, in a victim impact statement, Mr Donovan said his life now lacked purpose.

Defence barrister Michael Connolly, instructed by Allen & Searing Criminal Lawyers, said since the attack Young had stopped drinking alcohol.

"He describes watching that video as confronting. He was shocked at his conduct and very remorseful," he said.

Mr Connolly said Young now saw a psychologist and was taking medication.

He said Young had plans to open a mechanic business.

 

lea.emery@news.com.au

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Student left unconscious while his attacker partied


5 reasons not to miss North Coast’s newest markets

Premium Content 5 reasons not to miss North Coast’s newest markets

Why these new events have all your Christmas shopping sorted

New dam would destroy something 'very precious'

New dam would destroy something 'very precious'

Plans for new Dunoon Dam have been described as "extremely reckless"

Community legends recognised after tough year for community

Premium Content Community legends recognised after tough year for community

HELEN Hamilton “really embodies what it means to be a volunteer”.