'Life will never be the same', says family of arm-wrestle assault victim
The family of critically injured Hamilton business owner and racing supporter Trevor Cochrane are urging people to take it easy and think twice this festive period.
Mr Cochrane was struck in the back of the head with a heavy glass jug at a bar last Friday. He spent Christmas Day in a critical condition at Waikato Hospital.
Family spokesman and Cochrane's son-in-law Matthew Bloxham said Friday should have been about celebrating Christmas with loved ones and workmates.
Instead, Mr Cochrane's family had been left with a grandfather, father and partner fighting for his life.
Both of Mr Cochrane's daughters were expecting children in February, Mr Bloxham said.
"Be careful how you're drinking and think about how your actions and the things you do are going to affect other people, not just the victim but the victim's family as well, grandchildren, brothers, sisters - everything.
Mr Bloxham also appealed, on behalf of the family, for any outstanding witnesses to come forward to Hamilton police.
He described Mr Cochrane as more of a mate than father-in-law.
"He's a good bugger," Mr Bloxham said.
"Everybody else comes first with him.
"He's the last person he thinks about.
"He's a generous, caring, top man really - one of the best people I've met."
Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Greene, of the Waikato CIB, said police were hoping Mr Cochrane made a full recovery.
"But of course life has changed in an instant for Trevor - for him and his family life will never be the same whatever happens."
Mr Greene urged people to drink responsibly and look after mates this festive period.
Mr Cochrane, 55, has been an avid supporter of up-and-coming Hamilton V8 driver Bronson Porter through his plastering business, Dinsdale Drywall 2000 Ltd.
He is a regular at the Still Working Bar in Lynden Court at the Chartwell shopping centre where he was struck in the head by a heavy glass "super jug".
He dropped to the ground unconscious and underwent surgery the following day to ease pressure on his brain.
Mr Bloxham said he is a "really independent, hard-working Kiwi bloke" who had been at the bar to celebrate the festive season with his family, workers and friends.
"It is characteristic of who he is that he has suffered these injuries trying to do the right thing and stop what was occurring."
Lepa Palu, 23, appeared in the Hamilton District Court this week in relation to the incident.
He was charged with wounding with intent to injure and was released on bail.
He will reappear on January 28.