Man pleads guilty to bashing

JASON HAYES was a mess.

The man the Goonellabah resident had once called his best mate had reduced his face to a bloody pulp and left him drifting in and out of consciousness by the side of the road under the contents of a wheelie bin.

It was the result of a bitter love triangle involving Mr Hayes, his attacker and his estranged wife, now Mr Hayes’ partner and the mother of his child.

Mr Hayes’ attacker, Jeremy Joseph Fresi, 22, of Lismore, will next month face Lismore District Court after pleading guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Hayes in the attack on June 30 last year.

That attack, done while the Hayes family had an apprehended violence order out against Fresi, left Mr Hayes with a perforated bowel and fractures to his nose, cheek bones, and to the front of his skull, along with extensive bruising, swelling and cuts to his face.

The attack came nearly 18 months after Fresi separated from his wife Lauren, the mother of his four children.

The couple had married as teen sweethearts when they were only 18 and Mr Hayes had stood beside Fresi at the ceremony as best man.

But there was no ‘happily ever after’. Eight years later, in early 2008, the couple split up and Mrs Fresi moved in with Hayes. By the end of the year she had given birth to his child.

On June 30 the trio spent the afternoon at Kadina Park. As they were walking home at dusk they encountered Fresi, driving by with a group of mates. The car veered towards the family before continuing up the street and doing a U-turn and stopping. Fresi got out and began jogging towards them.

“It’s Jez, run,” Mr Hayes said.

Lauren gathered the children and herded them home. There she called 000 before grabbing a kitchen knife and heading back up the street, to see Fresi kicking Mr Hayes’ prone body.

Fresi fled at the sight of his knife-wielding former wife.

Fresi was yesterday remanded in custody to appear in Lismore District Court on April 8.



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