Cowardly bashing for a few smokes
BARRY Harding's bruised, battered and bloodied face was worth only four cigarettes to his attackers.
The 64-year-old Maroochydore grandfather was the victim of a cowardly and random assault late Thursday night.
His attackers left him lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood just metres from his front door.
Mr Harding was punched, kicked and beaten with a piece of wood before being robbed of the last few cigarettes he had on him.
The senseless attack put him in hospital for two days with injuries to his head, face, hands, left knee and ribs.
"I did fear for my life," Mr Harding said.
"They just kept kicking, punching and smacking me. I don't remember anything after that.
"They just saw an old man with a cane and thought I was an easy mark."
Mr Harding was walking home from his local pub after his weekly game of poker when the attack occurred.
He was a few doors away from home at 11.30pm when he felt a blunt object hit him on the back of the head.
He believed at least two men were involved.
"The next minute they were kicking the hell out of me...and hit me in the face with a piece of wood," Mr Harding said.
"Then they just left me."
He believed he was unconscious for about 30 minutes before neighbour Nia White came home and found him lying on the ground.
"If she hadn't come home I would have died," he said.
Mr Harding woke up in the emergency department at Nambour General Hospital on Friday.
He was discharged on Saturday.
Despite the attack, Mr Harding said he still believed Maroochydore was a safe area.
"It's a good area...I'm very surprised this kind of attack happened here," he said.
"I think there are quite a few people around here who were surprised by it as well, but I don't think it will bother them.
"It was just a random attack.
"If they had asked me for a smoke I would have given them what I had.
"It won't stop me walking alone.
"I've been on this planet 64 years...not going to let someone dictate my way of living.
"If I could identify them...I would go after them myself."
Police are believed to be investigating the incident.