A man accused of beating two women, leaving one with significant facial injuries, has been granted bail.
On Dec. 26, Brittany Merrick received a text message before reportedly being subjected to a vicious assault alongside her friend, Brittany Norris. Shaun Rudder, the alleged assailant, knew Merrick through mutual friends.
The alleged attack followed an altercation in which Rudder spit in Merrick’s face at a nightclub. The nightclub kicked all three out after the incident.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Rudder sent a text message to Norris while the girls were walking down the street, and then followed up with one that said, “behind you.” He reportedly first attack Norris, knocked her to the ground, then started attacking Merrick, who was trying to help her roommate.
Merrick said she could not remember the reported assault.
"I actually came to hearing my [roommate] scream, it was such a horrible, horrible scream," Merrick recalled. "I could feel something wet on my skin but I couldn't open my eyes, it didn't take me long to work out it was blood."
She was in hospital overnight but needs to return for further testing to determine whether her jaw has been fractured.
According to court documents, Rudder threatened Norris “not to do anything as his mates are [bikers] and he knows where both girls live.” Later, Norris received another text message from Rudder that said, “Hey where are yous I'm at home. Never went out. What's yous Doin?"
Rudder was charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, reports ABC. On Dec. 28, Rudder faced Newcastle Local Court and was granted bail, which sparked outrage on social media.
Within a few hours, a photo of Merrick’s battered face had been shared over 2,500 times. Merrick also received supportive messages from people around the world.
"It's all a bit shocking,” Merrick told The Sydney Morning Herald. “I didn't think it would be shared that many times let alone the things people are saying,"