British Tourist in Napier Attack is Named

Source: Telegraph, UK
By Paul Chapman in Wellington

“A British tourist left fighting for his life in a New Zealand hospital after being assaulted so viciously that police say his attackers’ boot marks were left imprinted on his head and face has been named.

Stuart Martin, a 31-year-old from Scotland, is in a coma in Hawke’s Bay Hospital with a severe head injury.

His condition is described as critical.

Mr Martin, who has been living in Australia, had flown to the North Island seaside resort of Napier to attend the wedding on Saturday of a friend, Rory McBrearty.

He had been at a stag party when he became separated from the others, and police say he was set upon while walking past shops in the suburb of Taradale about 1am on Friday.

Mr McBrearty, also 31, has been keeping vigil at his comatose friend’s hospital bedside.

He said: “I’m pretty upset about it all. It’s overwhelming.

“I’m on the verge of a breakdown to tell the truth,” he told Wellington’s Dominion-Post newspaper.

He said that hospital staff were “not saying much about his condition, but it’s pretty serious”.

The two have been good friends for more than six years.

He described Mr Martin as “a small, friendly guy who makes friends with everyone”.

A badly shaken Mr McBrearty told the newspaper that he and about 20 friends had spent much of Thursday being driven on a pub crawl.

“It was just your normal stag do. It was good. We finished up at a friend’s place in Taradale.”

No one in the stag party had noticed that Mr Martin was missing until they saw a police cordon around the scene while walking home through the suburb’s town centre.

Detectives say they are “appalled” by the extent of his injuries.

They said a witness saw the victim being stomped on the face and head after he was knocked to the ground. The attack left him unconscious in the street.

Detective Sergeant Brian Schaab said: “The witness was unable to intervene but called police as the attack was in progress.”

Three 17-year-old local youths have appeared in Napier District Court on Friday and were remanded in custody to reappear on March 4.

The three, named as Darrin Peter Wright, Hamish Glenn Bowman, and Joshua McConville, have all been charged with assault.

Police say further, possibly more serious, charges may follow”