Shannon Cross was just doing his job when he was set upon by three men and brutally attacked.
It was New Year’s Eve, at 12.30am, outside the Commercial Hotel when Shannon, who was working as a bouncer, denied entry to three men.
Annoyed, the men bashed Shannon, landing him in hospital.
It would be months before he was fully recovered.
But the men who attacked Shannon are still free, with the investigation into the incident lacking clear evidence and witnesses.
Shannon’s wife Jae was at the hotel that night and was by Shannon’s side immediately after the attack.
She’s frustrated at the lack of people who have come forward to provide statements to the police, despite the amount of people who were in the area.
Nearly eight months on from the assault, Jae said there is no shortage of whispers about who was responsible, but few people willing to come forward to hold them accountable.
“I walked out after it all happened and somebody has told me that the guy across the road was a guy that attacked Shannon, but at this stage no one has come forward to act as a witness,” she said.
“We’re constantly hearing rumours around town, that they’ve been boasting. If everyone’s chatting about it at lunch, then why can’t they do the right thing and give a statement?”
Compounding the difficulties in finding the suspects, there is no CCTV footage available.
With medical bills of around $5000, the emotional trauma caused to the couple’s children and the knowledge that no one has been made accountable, the night still hangs over the family’s head.
“Shannon couldn’t get out of the house for three months…who are these guys to do that to my husband?” she said.
“How do you try to explain to a three-year-old what’s happened to dad? …the world shouldn’t be so cruel to those kids.”
Jae wants those responsible to realise the implications of their actions.
“I’m just disgusted more than anything, it’s so lucky…they could have killed him, if it was anyone smaller, and somebody untrained it could have been so much worse,” she said.
“You’ve got to be considerate of otherpeople’s lives, it can take away your livelihood, it’s not just the one moment, it’s reflected in everything you do – work, home, your kids. It interrupts everything.
“It doesn’t make them a hero, it makes them a coward.”
She knows there are people in town who have information that could help them, and more than anything wants justice to prevail.
With all the public concern and media coverage around one punch attacks and alcohol-fuelled violence, she can’t believe people involved in a group attack, on a night at busy as New Year’s Eve, are yet to face repercussions.
“There’s no real urgency to find these people….seven months now and these guys are living their lives like nothing had ever happened,” she said.
“I urge anyone who saw anything at all, it might not mean anything to them but it might be the difference.
Young Police Inspector Ashley Holmes said although they have a few suspects in the matter, a lack of CCTV footage and witnesses meant no charges had been laid.
“People need to take responsibility for their own actions, if they can’t handle their alcohol they shouldn’t be out at all,” he said.
He encouraged anyone with information to contact Young Police on 6382 8199 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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