Perth football star Danny Hodgson’s heartbreaking plea after brutal one-punch attack
Danny Hodgson considers what legal action he can take to get compensation after suffering catastrophic injuries from a one-punch assault by a teenager who was out on bail for other offenses at the time .
In a moving interview with 7NEWS Flashpoint, Hodgson returned to the scene of the devastating crime for the first time and revealed his new campaign to improve compensation for victims of crime.
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The Perth footballer’s world was turned upside down after a night out in September when his teenage attacker delivered a brutal, unprovoked blow to the back of the head.
“If anything, I’m really mad at the justice system,” Hodgson said.
The callous blow landed Hodgson in hospital for 186 days and shattered his future, forcing the England-born football star to relearn basic functions.
Now he spends his days doing nothing.
“I sit in my chair all day because that’s all I can do…I can’t move at all,” Hodgson said.
“There’s no point in me being alive. I’m worthless, I’m hopeless…and again, it’s all down to the justice system.
Her teenage attacker was sentenced to just three years and eight months behind bars.
At the time of the attack, the teenager was out on bail on 23 counts relating to 13 separate incidents.
Hodgson wants compensation for himself and others who have been “defeated” by the legal system, with his partner Jess Pollock saying the couple are considering legal action.
“Someone has to be held accountable for this and why should we go through this journey and suffer in other ways as well – not being able to pay our bills when we were both working,” she said.
Under WA’s Crime Victims Compensation Act, a victim of crime may be entitled to a one-time payment capped at $75,000.
Hodgson’s teenage abuser has no financial means for which he could be prosecuted.
Attorney General John Quigley agreed to meet with the couple next month and told Flashpoint what happened to Hodgson was a tragedy, but would not commit to providing financial assistance.
Premier Mark McGowan said on Monday that Hodgson’s case was “shocking” and very sad, but offered no comment on whether the legislation and maximum payout would be reviewed.
“Everyone feels the deepest sympathy for him and what his family has been through,” he said.
“The Attorney General will have a proper conversation with him and hear his concerns. This year we will pay out $90 million in compensation for victims of crime, we have in fact made a tremendous effort to deal with the backlog.
Hodgson said Quigley was blessed to be a hero and to “save people’s lives”.
“Please change the law so this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”