Northern Ireland

Barry and Patrick Lyttle: Sydney attack brothers return

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBarry Lyttle told BBC News NI's Helen Jones that the family hoped to put what happened behind them.

The County Antrim brothers at the centre of a prosecution for grievous bodily harm in Australia have returned home to Ireland.

Patrick and Barry Lyttle, along with their father, were met by family at Dublin airport after travelling on separate flights.

Barry hit Patrick outside a Sydney nightclub in January. Patrick spent a week in a coma but has recovered.

Throughout the judicial process the Ballycastle brothers stood together.

Patrick asked the court to show leniency to his brother.

Arriving home on Wednesday night, he said: "Of course for myself and my family it has been tough, but we've come through it positively and we've got the right outcome.

"We're all home together."

Barry Lyttle was given a suspended sentence for punching his brother.

After being embraced by his supporters, who greeted him with 'welcome home' signs and balloons, he said: "I just can't believe the welcome I've got today and it's just so good to be home.

"I'd just like to thank everybody for all the support Patrick and I have got. This past four months have been terrible but hopefully we can put it all behind us now and move on with our lives as best we can."

He acknowledged that if his brother had not made such a good recovery, their homecoming could have been very different.

Image caption Patrick Lyttle said it had been a difficult time, but said the family had come through it positively

"It could have been different, yes, and we just have to thank god and thank all the support we got. It's really pulled everybody through - Dad, Patrick and I - and without all the support, to be honest we don't know where we would be.

"But it's good to be back. It's really, really good to be back and I'm looking forward to my life again."

During the court case, the Lyttle brothers both promised to speak to young people in Ireland about the consequences of violence, in return for a more lenient sentence.

Barry Lyttle said they were looking forward to getting involved with restorative justice groups in Northern Ireland, to "raise awareness that bad things can happen from unexpected events".

More on this story