ASPIRING young footballer Cameron Holzheimer was walking along King Street at Newcastle on a Saturday night in April when someone tapped him on the shoulder.
Holzheimer, 20, spun around and was immediately struck in the face by Joel Mitchell Worlin; the “powerful punch” knocking him unconscious and sending him sprawling to the roadway where he hit his head and fractured his skull.
The reason for Worlin’s sudden and vicious attack?
Holzheimer, who was talking on his phone, had walked across Union Lane just as Worlin went to turn left into the laneway, meaning Worlin had to momentarily stop his vehicle.
Worlin then jumped from the car with another man and followed the unsuspecting Holzheimer before tapping him on the shoulder and landing the devastating blow that left the 20-year-old former Newcastle Jets youth player in intensive care at John Hunter Hospital with a severe traumatic brain injury.
Worlin, a man with a history of violence for his role in a not dissimilar cowardly gang bashing of a completely innocent 18-year-old in the toilets at Finnegan’s Hotel in December, 2013, appeared in Newcastle Local Court via audio visual link from jail on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old, who was represented by solicitor Chris O’Brien, pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and possession of a prohibited weapon.
He will appear in Newcastle District Court next month to get a sentence date and faces the maximum of 10 years in jail.
After punching Holzheimer, Worlin got back in his car and continued driving down Union Lane, according to a statement of facts.
He was challenged by an off-duty security guard, who had seen the assault, and again jumped from his vehicle. He jogged back over to the security guard with a glass bottle in his hand. The security guard told Worlin to put the bottle down, but he repeatedly replied: “what bottle?”
Police arrived and blocked in Worlin’s car and by the time the security guard had gone over to point Worlin out, he had fled on foot towards Hunter Street.
Meanwhile, Holzheimer was being taken to John Hunter Hospital, where he would spend five days in intensive care with a fractured skull. Worlin fled north to Cabarita Beach, where he was arrested six days later.
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