When ambulance officers arrived at the scene of a Sydney house party last year, they found teenager Liam Knight with a three-metre pole lodged in his head.
The then 17-year-old had been celebrating the 18th birthday of a friend in Sydney’s north on January 11 when two other teens are said to have hopped the fence.
Moments later, the scene turned violent.
At the start of the two teens’ judge-alone trial on Tuesday, Sydney’s District Court heard that Jimmy Angelo Tupou, 19, and his co-accused, who can only be referred to as DS, had been denied entry to the party earlier that evening.
Birthday boy Harry Staples did not know either of the teens and had not invited them, crown prosecutor Huw Baker said.
Undeterred, the pair went around the back of the house in Forestville, with DS scaling the six-metre fence.
When he landed in the backyard, Mr Baker said he was immediately approached by Harry Staples’ father Phillip who, while shining a torch in his direction said: “You are not invited. You have to leave”.
Mr Staples told the teen that he could leave through the front of the house.
But DS later replied: “Don’t f***ing touch me. Get the f***ing torch out of my face,” Mr Baker said.
DS then pushed Phillip Staples, before punching another partygoer in the face.
After the teen climbed onto the roof of a shed, it is alleged he began throwing metal poles at the people below with a “spear or javelin-like motion”.
The crown alleges Tupou was also throwing building material at people.
The court heard a pole struck Mr Knight to the right side of his head, piercing his skull.
Shortly after, Tupou and DS fled.
When ambulance officers arrived a short time later, the court heard they found Mr Knight lying face down on the ground with a three-metre pole lodged in his head.
“Liam Knight’s head injury was severe,” Mr Baker said, adding he now suffers permanent brain damage due to the injury.
At the beginning of the trial, DS pleaded guilty to several assaults, including that on Mr Staples.
However, he has pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Knight.
Tupou, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to three charges, including using unlawful violence while in company with DS.
Tupou’s barrister, Robert Munro, said his client denied throwing any building materials and entering into any agreement with DS.
He said of the 50 witnesses expected to give evidence at the trial, only two would say they saw both teens throwing objects.
Of these two witnesses, Mr Munro said one was so intoxicated police didn’t take an initial statement from her.
DS’s barrister, Iain Todd, said that there was no evidence which showed the pole that hit Mr Knight came from his client.
The trial continues.