Community rallies for bashed father

DALLIS Arnold's vicious bashing in Byron Bay has left his young family in turmoil.

His fiancée Jo and their 18-month-old son Kaleb have been left with no source of income and an unfinished house at Koala Beach as Mr Arnold slowly awakes from a coma in the Gold Coast Hospital.

But the Pottsville community is rallying behind the family in the aftermath of the tragedy with the aim of getting the Arnold house to a liveable condition so Jo and Kaleb can move in and begin to get on with their lives.

As reported in the Tweed Daily News last Tuesday, Mr Arnold, 31, was bashed outside Byron Bay's Great Northern Hotel on Saturday, March 7 while celebrating a bucks night.

He suffered serious head and neck injuries and is expected to remain in hospital for six months.

Mr Arnold is a carpenter and had been building the house himself over the past year.

Now local tradies are ready to donate their time to finish it while the community raises funds for materials.

Pottsville hairdresser Robina Lathouras said there would be raffles at the Pottsville Tavern, coin tins in local businesses and hopefully a barefoot bowls day.

“The last time I spoke to Dallis he was so happy to be with us, with his son and building his house. In his own words, he was 'stoked',” Mrs Lathouras said yesterday.

“This could happen to anyone, and having such a small commu- nity, we should all support Dallis in his recovery in any way we can.”

Mr Arnold's parents and his brother, Jade, have travelled up from Batemans Bay on the New South Wales South Coast.

Jade was at the house yesterday, and said the plan was to get it liveable as soon as possible to move Jo and Kaleb in, because they did not know how much longer Dallis would be in hospital.

Mr Arnold said his brother was a “proud type of a bloke”, but no doubt at the end of the day he would be stoked at the help he had been given.

“We are appreciative and thankful and amazed at how the Pottsville community has banded together and hasn't hesitated to put their hand out to help,” he said.

“He is just lucky he has got a lot of good mates and a lot of good tradies there to help.”

Dallis has been living in Pottsville for about four years and bought the block three years ago. After spending a year working in north Queensland as an estimator in the aftermath of Cyclone Larry, he returned and started building his house.

Jade said his brother was out of intensive care and now in the head trauma ward of the Gold Coast Hospital where he was beginning to learn how to talk again in the early stages of his recovery.

“It is a slow and tedious process to get him back, but this time last week it was touch and go. It is looking pretty positive at the moment, fingers crossed,” Mr Arnold said.

Nicholas Stafford Sharp, 27, has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly stomping on Mr Arnold's head, using violence to cause fear and intentionally causing grievous bodily harm. He has been remanded in custody in the Grafton jail, but has a bail hearing in Lismore on April 7.

To donate to the appeal, contact Mrs Lathouras at her business, Sakaja Hair Face and Body on (02) 6676 1688.

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