Patrick (left) and Barry Lyttle in happier times before assault in Sydney

Patrick (left) and Barry Lyttle in happier times before assault in Sydney

A NORTHERN Ireland man charged with assaulting his brother was released on bail today in Australia.

Barry Lyttle, 33, from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, sobbed in court as he made his second appearance for the street assault on his kid brother Patrick.

He had spent the last three days in custody charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to his 31-year-old brother in Sydney on Friday night.

Police did not oppose his release but said there was a risk that he would fail to appear and a risk that the victim’s safety could be endangered.

Magistrate Les Mabbutt said those risks could be mitigated and he imposed strict bail conditions.

These included:

* living with an aunt in a suburb of Sydney;

* reporting weekly to police;

* surrendering his passport;

* a ban on consuming alcohol.

The magistrate said that alcohol was present but it did not appear to have been an issue in the incident.

However, prosecutors applied to prevent the defendant Barry Lyttle from coming near his brother within 12 hours of drinking.

Patrick Lyttle remained on a life support machine in St Vincent’s Hospital on Monday in a critical but stable condition.

He underwent emergency surgery to relieve the swelling and pressure on his brain.

Police say CCTV footage showed the brothers involved in a minor argument outside a nightclub.

Patrick is seen to push his brother before Barry punches him to the head.

Mr Lyttle then falls backwards, striking his head on the pavement.

Barry cried during his court appearance on Monday as members of his family sat in the public gallery.

His lawyer, Chris Watson, indicated that he was devastated and wanted to spend most of his time by his brother’s bed in hospital while out on bail.

“[They] are very close and [he] is very distressed,” Mr Watson said.

He said the family were not wealthy and a friend could offer only $2000 surety.

Barry will reappear in court on January 20.

The devastated father of the brothers involved in a “one-punch” attack says his sons have loved each other since they were children.

Oliver Lyttle, a 74 year-old former boxer, is facing the prospect of losing one child to a custodial sentence and the other to serious brain injury following the incident outside a Kings Cross nightclub.

Barry and Oliver had been in Australia for just five days to visit Patrick, who had been travelling around Australia for six months.

Oliver was a professional boxer in northern Ireland, fighting at least eight middleweight bouts in the 1960s.

Barry, who has been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, was granted bail on Monday morning but ordered not to drink any alcohol.

Barry embraced Oliver as he left Central Local Court and put his arm around his father as they walked down Pitt Street.

The pair intended to go to St Vincent’s Hospital to sit beside Patrick’s bed.

Oliver spoke for the first time since the incident, expressing his gratitude for the outpouring of sympathy and saying the brothers were extremely close.

“They have loved each other from when they were kids,” he said.

Barry was breath-tested after the incident and returned a low-range reading of 0.079.

It meant he would not fall under the state’s controversial mandatory minimum sentence of four years for drunken assaults.



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