No price for bashing

THE mother of a Coast man viciously bashed with an iron bar almost eight years ago has welcomed his $61,500 compensation payout but says it is impossible to put a price on the ordeal he has been through.

Tracy Daley will never forget when she first saw her young son Trent as he was fighting for his life after being bashed by two thugs wielding metal bars in April 2004.

The then 14-year-old was left a bloodied mess. His face, bludgeoned and heavily bruised, was almost unrecognisable even to his mother.

"It was horrific," Ms Daley said.

"By the time I got there ... he didn't even look like him.

"I walked in there and couldn't even recognise his face."

What followed were eight years of rehabilitation and court cases. Two men pleaded guilty to bashing Mr Daley.

He then made a claim for criminal compensation and last week was shocked to read in the Daily that he had been granted a $61,500 payout.

"I had kind of almost given up (on compensation). It has definitely helped. It's a big relief."

The attack in a Dicky Beach park left Mr Daley with irreparable vision problems and a fear of crowds and parties.

He dropped out of school and started drinking copious amounts of alcohol after the attack.

"I had trouble going out and talking to anyone. I was always watching my back and stuff like that. I pretty much just lost hope with everything in the end," he said.

Mr Daley slowly put his life back on track and said he hoped to move away from Caloundra in the new year with the aid of the compensation.

Ms Daley said she wanted a brighter future for her son, who she had watched battle demons since the 2004 attack.

"It's kind of like putting an end to it (eight years of stress)," she said.

"I don't think you could ever put a price on what he's been through.

"It's affected him for the rest of his life (and) it's changed him from what he was."

Mr Daley's attackers were older teenagers Tony James Hicks and Brendan James Booby, who have been ordered to pay the compensation.

Hicks, who was 17 at the time, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail, suspended after he had served a year, after he pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm on May 9, 2005.

Booby, then 18, was given the same sentence when he pleaded guilty on August 12, 2005, but his time in custody was suspended after he had served 10 months.

The compensation will be paid from government coffers if the men can prove they have no capacity to pay.