Tylar Adams appeared in New Plymouth District Court on Friday. Photo / Tara Shaskey
A violent bar attack left a young father with lingering health issues, forced him and his wife out of their farm jobs and home, and left them $70,000 out of pocket.
The man was knocked out with a single punch, causing a brain hemorrhage and multiple facial fractures after falling backwards and hitting his head on the concrete.
His attacker, Tylar Adams, had moments earlier rendered another man unconscious in the same way.
Adams, 23, and his two victims were all patrons of the Crowded House Bar and Eatery in New Plymouth on October 24.
The victims, who are friends, were part of a “very drunk” group playing an arcade game at the pub, Judge Sygrove told the New Plymouth District Court on Friday.
Not far from the group was Adams, having a drink with a mate at a skinny bar.
At around 11:40 p.m., a duty manager approached the “a little loud” group and unplugged the slot machine.
This led to one of the victims getting into an argument and being racist towards the staff member.
He was asked to leave the premises and while being escorted away his abuse continued.
At this point, Adams took it upon himself to get involved and began to approach the man.
A fight broke out, which included the other victim, and all parties threw punches at each other.
Once separated, the victim who was asked out continued to be led outside.
Meanwhile, Adams followed the other victim to a table and landed a right hook to the man’s chin, which immediately knocked him out.
Adams then left the bar and was greeted by the kicked out victim who called him out for a fight.
Taking up the challenge, Adams approached the man and threw a single punch at him. The victim was immediately knocked unconscious and hit his head on the sidewalk.
He spent several days in intensive care at Taranaki Base Hospital with a subdural hematoma and facial fractures.
His road to recovery continues and he and his wife had to give up their jobs as contract milkers following a head injury.
The couple had to leave their farm and lost around $50,000 in income and $20,000 in rental income.
The other victim suffered significant swelling from the attack and suffers from ongoing emotional and relationship issues.
Judge Sygrove struggled to read the victim impact statements, describing the content as “heartbreaking”.
The lives of the victims had changed irrevocably, he said when sentencing Adams.
“[One victim] was severely disabled for some time and remains quite disabled in many ways.”
Judge Sygrove rebuked Adams’ violent behavior, describing his actions as “incredibly wrong”.
But said he was otherwise a “worthy member of society” with a full-time job as a builder and a supportive family.
“It shows you the danger of alcohol and youth. And it happens all the time in our society,” Judge Sygrove said.
Police argued the offense was premeditated and self-defense behavior, while the defense said it was provoked and impulsive.
In sentencing Adams, Judge Sygrove considered his youth, his remorse, his efforts at rehabilitation and his desire to attend restorative justice, which did not happen.
After being found guilty of wounding with recklessness and wounding that would have resulted in manslaughter if he died, Adams was sentenced to eight months of house arrest.
He was also ordered to pay $1,500 in reparations to one victim and $500 to the other.