Graham Pearce of Goonellabah was king-hit on his driveway in April 2013. The attack left him in a coma and he was declared clinically dead twice. When he awoke seven weeks later he had to learn to walk again.
Graham Pearce of Goonellabah was king-hit on his driveway in April 2013. The attack left him in a coma and he was declared clinically dead twice. When he awoke seven weeks later he had to learn to walk again. Cathy Adams

$5000 "compensation" adds insult to injury that killed twice

KING-HIT victim Graham Pearce says a recognition payment offer of $5000 from Victims Services has left him feeling worthless, angry and disgusted.

The Goonellabah man said such a paltry offer didn't compensate him for suffering a severe traumatic brain injury and spending seven weeks in a coma after Benjamin Stevens king-hit him on his driveway in April.

He said he was disgusted that victims of crime payments were slashed by the O'Farrell Government in May this year.

"A family friend who was belted on the corner of Keen and Woodlark Sts in Lismore, spent time in a coma and suffered a brain injury and he received $180,000," he said.

"They are giving me $5000 for being in a coma for seven weeks and dying twice, which is paltry compensation for the trauma.

"Family and friends still call me a walking miracle when talking about my recovery."

Victims Services sent Mr Pearce a letter on Tuesday explaining they considered his brain injury amounted to grievous bodily harm, therefore they would grant the recognition payment.

"I just hope my fight has achieved something so the next person doesn't have to go through what I have."

Four days before the assault Mr Pearce was promoted to manager of a local service station where he could have potentially earned $30,000 since the attack.

Now Mr Pearce has to fight Victims Services for a maximum payout of $30,000 for economic loss.

Stevens, 23, was jailed for 18 months with a non-parole period of four months over the assault.

The Victims Services legislation changes saw maximum payouts for victims of crime reduced from $50,000 to $15,000.

Attorney General Greg Smith described the new Victims Services scheme as more fair and efficient.


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