What coward punch survivor says about his attacker

KING hit survivor Russell Halfpapp is frustrated but getting on with life.

His attacker, Sione Koka, this week avoided jail with the promise of $10,000 compensation - barely one fifth of what Mr Halfpapp lost in the year since he was punched outside the Woolshed nightclub in January.

"I am pretty unhappy with it - he was ordered to pay $10,000 for one year of lost work. You are looking at the $40-$50,000 a year mark,' Mr Halfpapp said.

Russell Halfpapp who was the victim of a coward punch in the Cairns CBD on January 19 PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Russell Halfpapp who was the victim of a coward punch in the Cairns CBD on January 19 PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

"I think he should have had to pay it in a lump sum or seen the inside of a cell for at least a month."

Mr Halfpapp has watched CCTV footage of the assault played to Cairns Magistrates Court in the hope of remembering events that night.

"I thought watching the video footage might trigger some memory, but there's nothing," he said.

"I don't remember being pulled out of a coma. I vaguely remember being in the ICU."

Koka king hit Mr Halfpapp, who was trying to break up a fight between their associates.

The court heard Koka fled the scene in a panic and did not render assistance to the man who was unconscious before he hit the concrete.

The former Gordonvale landscaper is still living with the after-effects - he suffered bleeding on the brain and needed facial reconstruction surgery.

"I have lost my sense of smell. I worked on site landscaping. If there is a gas leak, I can't smell it," Mr Halfpapp said.

"My back-up work was in the kitchen, cooking. I can't do that anymore either."

He has metal plates in his nose, cheekbone and eye socket.

"I can't smell my partner's perfume and I can't smell my daughter," he said.

Koka pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and was released on parole.

Despite the trauma, Mr Halfpapp was philosophical.

"I heard his dream was to join the Navy but he has a conviction now so that would have been taken away; he took something away from me and something was taken away from him," he said.