Matthew McEvoy, a 25 year-old Cranbourne man, died yesterday in hospital after a violent encounter outside of the QBH nightclub in Southbank. It is alleged Mr. McEvoy became involved in an argument with another man in the smoking area of the nightclub about 2:30am and was punched in the head. Later, a second man is alleged to have kicked him in the head. Andryas Tello, 21, and 18-year-old Laurn Sakoof, both from Roxburgh Park, have been charged with intentionally causing serious injury and faced Melbourne Magistrate's Court today.
Gary Jamieson, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner, warned that alcohol-fueled violence in the CBD could get worse before it gets better. "That's always our concern, that we haven't hit rock bottom," Mr Jamieson said. He also added that "the licensees themselves have a lot to answer for in not supporting the (2am lockout) proposal."
This fatal attack was the second involving QBH in two years, following the death of Shannon McCormack, 22, in April 2007.
Ross Blair-Holt, chief operating officer of ALH Group which runs QBH, defended the club, saying the weekend fatality was "very tragic" and his staff had been left traumatised. "The view of management and security personnel is that the people involved were not intoxicated at the time... We did everything we could possibly do. We had the right number of security and we also had St John Ambulance on duty on the premises and the person assaulted was attended to 15 minutes quicker than had he waited for an ambulance." Mr. Blair-Holt went on to say "as for the wider problem, the key issue really is a lack of police presence in and around the city."
The Age is also reporting on a separate incident, where a man from Kealba was rushed to hospital after having his jugular slashed in an altercation at the Loft nightclub on Lonsdale Street.
Police are urging anyone who witnessed the assaults to come forward or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Sources: The Age, ABC News 1 & 2