Family hopes for $2m compo

By Patrick O'Sullivan, Lawrence Gullery


The sister of a former Bay man who died without collecting $2 million compensation for a Sydney attack, hopes the money can still be awarded to his family, including his daughter and grandchildren in Napier.

Mr Dickson died alone in Australia on July 5 aged 55. His lawyer Joshua Dale said he had seemingly died from the injuries sustained in the attack without receiving help.

The former Hawke's Bay fisherman was awarded $2.3 million by an Australian court after Sydney bouncer Russell Peter Chaffey elbowed him in the head and he fell to the ground, injuring himself further on concrete.

Mr Dickson's death is being investigated by the coroner who has ordered a post-mortem examination and asked police to prepare a brief of evidence.

His sister Lorraine Dickson told Hawke's Bay Today the funeral was held in Sydney last week, before his ashes were brought back to New Zealand.

"His ashes were spread out at sea in Napier - it was quite beautiful. I didn't attend myself because I wanted to leave it up to his two daughters."

Mr Dickson had a daughter in Australia who lived an hour away from his home in Sydney and a younger daughter in Napier.

"It has been a hard time for the family and we are all in limbo at the moment.

"He was looking forward to that compensation because he was going to use it to start a new life in Napier, to be with his daughter and grandchildren."

Ms Dickson said she hoped there could be a legal case to reward the money to her brother so it could be handed on to his family. "He had wanted to buy a place near his daughter in Napier and I know his daughter there was looking forward to it, and was going to keep an eye on him.

"He fought so hard for it [compensation]. I don't think someone should be able to go around bashing people and ruining someone else's life."

Mr Dickson had a hard time after the accident, three months in hospital and was unable to work as a result of blackouts and epileptic seizures. He withdrew from family and friends and had hard times because New Zealanders were unable to collect many Australian Government benefits.

Mr Dickson sued the bouncer for assault and battery and was awarded $2.3 million damages but never received any money because the bouncer pleaded poverty. He had been hoping to move back to Hawke's Bay after moving to Australia to be closer to his daughter and her two children. His sister Lorraine said her brother was far from forgotten by his mother, brother and three sisters living in Wellington.

"I would like to see the matter go further," she said.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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