Party town image blamed for rage

ALCOHOL-FUELLED violence spoiling Byron Bay’s popular nightlife, an international party town reputation, street safety and a general poisoning of residents’ lifestyle surfaced at the Samuel Buultjens assault case in the Lismore District Court.

Buultjens’s mother Melinda (Lindy) called for increased surveillance of the nightlife scene and after-dark street activities.

“I was absolutely horrified (at the amount of alcohol her son drank that night). I would say that was extremely heavy drinking,” she said.

“I would like to see nightclubs in Byron Bay closed much, much earlier.”

Mrs Buultjens said she would also like to see more police on the streets when the clubs closed and more security cameras to ensure such a terrible tragedy did not happen again.

“I’d love young people to stop thinking alcohol was a fine thing,” she said when giving evidence.

Crown prosecutor Julia Baly said the Byron Bay community had now had enough, with police and medical services stretched to the limit as a result of ongoing alcohol-fuelled violence.

She said the violence must be condemned in the strongest of terms.

“People who live in Byron Bay now find it unacceptable. Byron Bay is an ugly and dangerous place after the nightclubs close,” she said.

The senior police officer investigating the death of Irish traveller Colm Kenny, Detective Gary Sheehan, said young people lost sight of their behaviour boundaries and respect for others when partying at Byron Bay.

“It has got to the stage the alcohol affects their ability to make decisions about their safety, and the repercussions their drunken behaviour can have on the safety of others,” he said.

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