Lynda Summers’ praise for assault accused

THE mother of a Dean Street assault victim has praised the young man accused of punching her son after he handed himself into police.

The man, 19, was char- ged with reckless grievous bodily harm and bailed to face Albury Local Court on April 29 after he contacted police on Tuesday.

Former Albury councillor and police officer Lynda Summers said handing himself in was “brave”.

“It saves everyone a lot of stress and we’ll see what the court will bring,” she said.

“Two young men have learnt a hard life lesson out of this. One has been injured and the other faces a court process, so with the whole interaction of young people and alcohol, it’s just a sad story.”

Her son Jake, 20, was walking on Dean Street after a night out after the Albury Gold Cup when he was punched in an alleged unprovoked assault.

He had to undergo facial reconstruction surgery to repair his broken face.

Ms Summers, the former chairwoman of the Greater Murray Area Health Service, said it was a “happy coincidence” her decision to go public with her son’s assault coincided with a meeting between Albury Liquor Accord and the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing on Tuesday.

In it, options of adopting some of Newcastle’s solutions were raised including a 1am lockout, a ban on post-10pm shot sales and a 3am closing.

Ms Summers rejected Albury councillor and accord chairman Daryl Betteridge’s notion that the Newcastle model was “yesterday’s news”.

“Having lived in Newcastle for an extended period, I’ve lived the effects of what change can do. It’s not yesterday’s news, it’s a methodology that Albury can embrace whole-heartedly,” she said.

“There are strong, vested interests in the status quo, but at some point enough’s enough ... it’s the opportune time for the council to seize the moment.”

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