Danny Hodgson: Perth soccer star speaks to 7News' Flashpoint about legal action considerations

Danny Hodgson: Perth soccer star speaks to 7News’ Flashpoint about legal action considerations

Danny Hodgson is considering what legal action he can take for compensation after he was left with catastrophic injuries when he was coward punched by a teenager who was on bail for other crimes.

Mr Hodgson made the revelation in an emotional interview with 7News’ Flashpoint, during which for the first time since the attack, he returned to the Perth Train Station pedestrian bridge where his life changed for ever on September 5 last year.

“If anything, I’m just really angry at the justice system,” he said.

“The justice system is to convict criminals, to protect citizens, and to keep order across the country.

“But again it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say that a criminal that has 23 offenses shouldn’t stay on the streets.”

Before the attack, Mr Hodgson was a healthy, talented soccer player with ECU Joondalup. He was on his way home from end-of-year celebrations when he was punched to the back of the head.

Camera IconDanny Hodgson undergoing rehabilitation at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

The teenager was jailed for three years and eight months over his attack on Mr Hodgson and other strangers while on bail. He was facing 23 charges relating to 13 separate incidents in the seven months prior to the attack.

Asked if legal action for compensation was being considered, Ms Hodgson’s partner, Jess Pollock, said “definitely”.

“Someone needs to be held responsible for this and why should we go through this journey and suffer in other ways as well — not being able to pay our bills when we were both working,” she said.

“I don’t even know if what he did was legal to let him out after breaching bail on 23 charges, I don’t even know.

“But if it is legal, and he has followed the law, then the law seriously needs to change.”

Danny Hodgson interviewed for Flashpoint
Camera IconDanny Hodgson interviewed for Flashpoint. Credit: flash point/Channel 7

Mr Hodgson spent 82 days in intensive care at Royal Perth Hospital before he underwent weeks of rehabilitation at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He was rushed back to hospital last month after suffering a 10-minute seizure at home.

Heartbreakingly, Mr Hodgson’s independence, as well as his dream of having children, has been ripped away.

“We were hoping to start a family pretty soon but now I can’t start a family because you can’t have Jess as having full responsibility for a kid,” he said.

“As a parent you’ve got to have two parents to look after you, to change your nappy, to feed the kid — it’s impossible to have a kid as one parent.

“It’s not impossible but it’s hard to have a good kid and do the right thing, and that’s been taken away from us.”

Manchester United legend Denis Irwin with Danny Hodgson, Peter Hodgson and Jess Pollock at Optus Stadium
Camera IconManchester United legend Denis Irwin with Danny Hodgson, Peter Hodgson and Jess Pollock at Optus Stadium. Credit: daniel wilkins/The West Australian

He added: “I honestly may as well be dead in my head, mate. There’s no point of being alive. I’m worthless, I’m hopeless, I’ve got no benefit of being on this earth anymore.”

Asked if he had a message for Attorney-General John Quigley, Mr Hodgson said: “He can be a hero and save people’s lives”.

“Please change the law so this doesn’t happen again,” I asked.

“You’ve got the power to change the law and you can save people’s lives.”

Danny Hodgson at Manchester United open training session at the WACA.
Camera IconDanny Hodgson at Manchester United open training session at the WACA. Credit: Andrew Richie/The West Australian

Mr Quigley did not respond to Flashpoint’s questions asking why the offender was allowed out on bail and what action he had taken to ensure that what happened to Mr Hodgson would not happen again in the future.

But he said he would meet with the family in coming weeks to discuss their concerns.

Under WA’s Criminal Injuries Compensation legislation, a victim of crime can be entitled to a one-off, maximum payment of $75,000.