New Zealand media reported yesterday on the death of a teenager in Brisbane, who died after being punched once in the back of the head on Sunday morning by a New Zealander resident in Australia.
The punch, which has been described as a coward punch, left Cole Miller with massive head injuries, sadly Cole died after his life support was stitched off. Our deepest condolences are extended to Cole Miller’s family, friends and team mates for their tragic loss.
The attack came at a time when violent acts by Kiwis have been very much in the news in Australia, many of whom are being deported back to New Zealand for failing character tests or for having criminal convictions.
Callous attacker Daniel Maxwell joked before punch
The UK’s Daily Mail also covered the attack, saying Maxwell joked with his co-accused before the attack on Cole Miller and his friend Nick Pace, and that they were part of a group of 4 “Maori men.”
One of the men accused over the death of an 18-year-old man had asked his friend if he wanted ‘to see something funny’ before setting upon the promising water polo player in a random attack…
Detective Senior Constable Amanda Foster called Mr Maxwell ‘callous’ for seemingly enjoying tormenting his victims. Mr Maxwell allegedly punched Cole and then Mr Pace, before punching Cole again in the side of the face…The blow rendered him ‘immediately unconscious’, the court heard. Mr Maxwell and Mr Renata then fled the scene rather than trying to help Mr Miller, police claimed.
The two 21-year-olds had both allegedly been stirring violence throughout the evening, along with two others. Police allege Mr Maxwell had attacked three people and attempted to assault a further two before he punched Mr Miller unprovoked. The group of four Maori men had confronted Mr Miller and friend Nick Pace around 3.30am, it was alleged in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday…The attack occurred in front of a chapel in the mall, and two NightSafe chaplains rushed to the victim’s assistance, rendering first aid until paramedics arrived at the scene.
Cole Miller, 18, was assaulted in a Brisbane mall early yesterday. He was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where he died this afternoon…
Kiwi Daniel Jermaine Lee Maxwell, 21, has been charged in relation to the assault on Mr Miller. He appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today charged with grievous bodily harm.
Hours after the appearance the charge was upgraded to unlawfully striking causing death…A second man, Armstrong Renata, 21, has also been charged.
Gang was out ‘looking for a fight’
A Facebook page has published information that a gang of 5 males and a female involved in the attack approached other people earlier in the night, trying to start a fight. A witness allegedly said
“We were approached by these people 20 min before they attacked Cole Miller 5 guys and a girl roaming the streets tried to start us on our way back to our unit, we walked away after a little scuffle, then another guy jumped out of a silver ute from nowhere wearing a bullls red singlet walked straight over to my friend and punched him, my friend fended him off and we ran away.
These people were out to hurt someone and they killed a young boy they deserve to serve a long time away. They did not come from a night club they were wearing shorts and singlets. If there is anything I can do to help these pieces of shit be put away we are willing to do whatever we can“ source
Promising athlete with a bright future ahead
Mr Miller was a promising water polo player and talented athlete, he played for the Brisbane Barracudas Water Polo team and represented his state at the World Club challenge in Sydney last week. He was tipped to follow in the footsteps of his Olympian older brother Billy Miller.
Tributes to the young man have flowed in, memorials have already been held in the location where the assault occurred.
Police confirm four men beind the attack
Detective Acting Inspector Tom Armitt said Mr Miller and his friend were approached by the group on Sunday as they went in search of a taxi. He said one of the men, described as Pacific Islander in appearance and in his 20s, punched the teenager, causing him to fall to the ground.
“A short exchange has occurred and the victim was struck to the back of the head” source.
Tough on crime
Daniel Maxwell has been refused bail, the Magistrate citing an “unacceptable risk that he would flee or re-offend” (suggesting that the man may already be known to the criminal justice system?) and Renata has not applied for bail. The pair are due to appear in court again on Tuesday
The charge of unlawfully striking causing death does not exist in New Zealand, it was introduced in 2014 as part of Safe Night Out legislation and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The charge was introduced by the former Newman government to specifically target one-punch deaths, after a string of similar tragedies in entertainment precincts across Australia…
The charge mirrors manslaughter but removes the “accident” defence.and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Just two people have been charged with the offence since its introduction. source
- Police have launched an investigation after a man was injured in an Auckland CBD assault at 5.30 am today, outside of Auckland’s St James Theater.
- A man has died from blunt force trauma after being attacked on New Year’s eve in Whangarei. Lee Rata, 35, died in Whangarei Hospital on New Year’s Day. He was found on the side of Bonnett Rd with critical injuries at about 11pm on December 31.
- A 46 year old mother has lost her teeth after being punched in the head for speaking Te Reo Maori at the 123 Casino Bar in Howick (Auckland) on New Year’s Eve. Her crime was to say “ka kite ano” (see you later) to people standing outside the venue. The man who attacked her called her a “palagi” – a Samoan and Tongan word for a person of European descent.
- A woman was viciously attacked by a gang of youths in Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping mall at 8.15 am on Monday. Her attackers then hijacked her car (silver Nissan Cefiro CRY691). The woman worked at the Max clothing store at the mall.
- A man is in a critical condition in Christchurch hospital after he was attacked at a house party in Runanga on New Year’s eve. The 59 year old suffered serious head injuries. Dennis Bernard Crozier, 48, has been arrested for assault. Police are monitoring the condition of his alleged victim
- Police are investigating an assault that happened in the early hours in Whangamata. A 22 year old man was punched, knocked to the ground and robbed after he went to the assistance of another man who was being attacked by two men.