Attacker Serves 72 Days In Jail After Leaving Man Paralysed With Half A Skull
***WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT***
A man who attacked a dad-of-two, leaving him paralysed with half a skull, has served just 72 days in prison.
Steven Augustine, 32, has been in a medically-induced coma since 28 May, when he was attacked by Charles Miles while walking home from work in New York, USA.
Half of Mr Augustine's skull was shattered in the attack and had to be removed, and he is now suffering from sunken brain syndrome - a rare complication after a large craniectomy.
Miles served just 72 days of his 365 days sentence at Ulster County Jail, having received a misdemeanour charge.
Defence lawyers claimed Mr Augustine was punched just once and sustained his injuries when he fell to the ground. Ulster County District Attorney, Holley Carnright, said that since it could not be proven that Miles intended to cause serious physical harm to Mr Augustine, his office could not bring felony assault charges against him.
Speaking to ABC 7, he said: "The injuries to his face were consistent with a single punch. The skull fracture was consistent with a fall backwards.
"There was no way for us to determine the intent to commit a serious physical injury as a result of that conduct."
However, Mr Augustine's mum, Donna, claims his hospital records show that the injuries he sustained were consistent with an attack with a baseball bat.
She said: "Steven's hospital records clearly state his injuries are caused by blunt force trauma possibly with a baseball bat and the man who did it is now walking free.
"The damage that has been done could not have happened after one punch. The left side of head shattered along with multiple skull fracture throughout his head and face and he has had bleeding on the brain.
"Charles Miles was given a light sentence and I want justice for my son who is fighting every single day for his life. Steven can't tell us what happened, but none of us had ever heard him mention Charles Miles before so there's no reason for us to think they knew each other."
Since the attack, Mr Augustine has been suffering with severe seizures and the medication to stop them is damaging his liver. His family are now fundraising to pay for surgery whereby doctors will implant a metal 'skull' to protect his brain.
Donna said: "He loves his children and family more than anything in the world and to see him now, completely brain dead is devastating.
"I am heartbroken, my son is in a vegetated state. Our whole family has been destroyed; we will never be the same again.
"The surgery could save his life; it will equal out the fluid around his brain and protect it - a slight bump to the area as it is now could be life threatening as it's just skin protecting his brain.
"He cries every time he sees his sons Michael, seven and Steven Junior, 11 - they cry too because they miss their daddy so much.
"We are desperate for justice and any sort of financial help that could give my grandsons their daddy back."
Featured Image Credit: Caters