Two men accused of the assault that left the New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder in an induced coma in hospital have appeared in the Christchurch District Court.
A 37-year-old builder has been charged with assaulting Ryder and also with reckless disregard for the safety of others. The younger man, a 20-year-old carpet layer, is facing two charges of assault, one shared with the older man.
The defence counsel for the older man, Jonathan Eaton, asked for and received a two-week remand on bail for the two men until April 18. He also won an interim suppression order over the names and images of the accused.
Eaton said the incident had not been a "Jesse Ryder hate crime" as some witnesses had described it. In his description of events, Eaton said the two men had been out at a family dinner at Aikmans Bar and had crossed paths in a "convivial" fashion with Ryder across the evening.
"The eye witness accounts are wildly inaccurate and misleading," he said. "It goes to show why the justice system and public demand that these matters be dealt with in court before a judge and a jury and not by the media in the court of public opinion."
Eaton also disputed reports of Ryder's injuries, claiming the batsman had not received a fractured skull but a serious concussion, and had also not sustained a collapsed lung.
Ryder was interviewed by police in hospital on Monday but so far has no recollection of events on the night. He was discharged on Wednesday and has flown back home to Wellington.
Ryder was hospitalised and placed in the induced coma to recover from injuries sustained when he was the victim of what police alleged to be two assaults in the space of a few minutes after a night out at the end of the Wellington Firebirds' season.