From enjoying family holiday to hospital in one stupid hit

SAVAGE ASSAULT: Rick Niven recovers in hospital after being assaulted and having surgery.
SAVAGE ASSAULT: Rick Niven recovers in hospital after being assaulted and having surgery. Contributed

A FAMILY night out before Christmas in Noosa ended with a young Sydney man smashed in the face by a king hit from a stranger.

And the father of 25-year-old tiler Rick Niven hopes by going public with the unprovoked savage assault on his son, the assailant may be brought to justice.

And at the very least Rod Niven said highlighting his son's ordeal might "help stamp this violence out".

Rick late last week underwent facial reconstruction surgery on his eye socket in Sydney, with titanium plates and screws inserted to help repair his features.

Rick had enjoyed a night out in Hasting St on Sunday, December 23, and was returning to his Ocean Breeze Resort unit in Hastings St around 12.30am.

The family has provided his statement to local police to the Noosa News in the interests of warning what can happen by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I had been out with my parents and two brothers for dinner and drinks," Rick told police.

"My parents and youngest brother Sean left to go back to their unit earlier that evening.

"I left Laguna Jacks at around 12.30am with my brother, Jack Niven, 23, and went into the 7/11 next door to buy some groceries.

"I then walked to the entrance of the Ocean Breeze resort where we were staying. There was a blond-haired man, early 20s, sitting on the lower steps with his head down looking down at his phone.

"My brother ahead of me, walked past him up the steps and I followed.

"About one metre past him the man started to yell something at me and then pulled me back by my right shoulder.

"I turned around to face him, still with both hands full with groceries. He grabbed my shirt around the collar and then punched me on the right hand side of the face.

"By the time my brother had got back to me the assailant had run away. My brother and I went into the resort and I spent the night in my parent's unit, with ice packs on my face."

A later CT scan back in Sydney showed considerable damage to the right cheekbone.

After seeing an eye specialist he was booked in for the facial reconstruction.


Rick gave the following description to police:

Caucasian male, shaggy blonde hair, early - mid 20s

Anyone who can help police in any way should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or phone Noosa police on 5440 8111.

Topics:  sunshine coast crime

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