Nimbin told to clean up its act
DARREN ANDERSEN wants the violence in his home town of Nimbin cleaned up and more police on the beat after his stepson, Joshua England, was savagely beaten on Boxing Day in sight of the town's main street
Mr England brought his fiancée, Kiomee Wilcoksen, and their 11-week-old baby, up from Sydney to spend Christmas with his mother and stepfather.
He and Ms Wilcoksen were spending a day in Nimbin when they saw what they thought was a celebration in Rainbow Lane.
Mr Andersen said the couple wandered down the lane to see what the fun was about when Mr England was attacked, apparently without reason, by a group of about 12 people.
Mr England tried to flee his attackers, but Mr Andersen said the gang kept up the attack, even as his stepson crawled across Cullen Street.
By the time they were done with him, Mr England had a fractured skull and eye socket, bleeding in his brain and cuts on his face.
Mr Andersen said he shuddered to think what might have happened if he and his wife had not driven into the town to pick up the couple.
He said he heard a woman scream and saw a group of people scuffling.
“The crowd parted and I saw Joshua crawling across the road still being beaten,” he said.
Mr Andersen said he ran into the crowd to save his stepson and fiancée and managed to get Mr England to the car, but lost sight of Miss Wilcoksen.
Mrs Andersen drove her son to Nimbin Hospital.
Miss Wilcoksen was spotted by Mr Andersen a short time later crying and walking towards the police station.
Mr England was later transferred to Lismore Base Hospital and was yesterday at the Gold Coast Hospital, undergoing tests to find the source of the bleeding in his brain.
“This type of violence has tarnished our town,” Mr Andersen said.
“My wife and Kiomee are traumatised by the incident and are receiving counselling.
“They said they will never go into Nimbin again and will tell all their friends to stay away.
“I want Rainbow Lane closed up, more street surveillance cameras, the street kids gone and more police.”
Mr Andersen said he and his wife moved to Nimbin two years ago to get away from the bustle of Byron Bay.
“We just wanted our little bit of country and graze a few cows,” he said.
Mr Andersen said Joshua and Kiomee thought they were leaving the violence and mayhem of Sydney, only to meet it head-on in an alleyway in Nimbin.
Two men were arrested later that day over the attack.
Both were charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company.
One of the men, James Brown, 24, of Nimbin, appeared in Lismore Local Court yesterday.
He was remanded in custody to face the court again on Monday, January 5. The other man, 20, of Queensland, was granted conditional bail. Police are looking for a woman allegedly involved in the attack.
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