Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oasis - Toronto attacker court update 3

As a follow-up to my earlier posts here and here, Pickering contractor Daniel Sullivan was in a Toronto court today as part of the ongoing legal process in his attack on Oasis leader Noel Gallagher at the Virgin Music Festival in September 2008.

Gallagher had hoped to be at the hearing today in order to deliver his victim impact statement in person, but was unable to attend due to business commitments. Crown attorney Ruth Kleinhenz-Neilson was expected to read Noel’s statement.

The Canadian Press is reporting that Gallagher’s statement says he felt like he was “hit by a bus” when Sullivan pushed him onstage from behind, causing him to crash hard into his monitors. Gallagher suffered three broken ribs and the band was forced to cancel five shows as a result of the injuries.

The National Post has published Gallagher’s full victim impact statement here, as follows:

“I am a singer and lead guitarist of the band Oasis. On 7 July 2008 Oasis were headlining at the V Festival in Toronto Canada when I was assaulted on stage by a stage invader. I was in the middle of one of the songs. I would describe the sudden impact and shock as feeling as if I had been hit by a bus. I ended up in a heap on the floor and the band stopped playing. I fell on to the monitors which are wedge shaped speakers. I had no idea what had happened. I was picked up by a member of the road crew and taken to the side of the stage. During this time I experienced a pain to my left side. Initially paramedics treated me on stage. There was 40 minutes left of the set. I was in shock but I decided to go back on stage. At that point, perhaps because of the adrenalin, I did not fully appreciate the severity of the injury I had sustained. After a few more songs I experienced difficulty breathing and felt further acute pain. I left the stage and was taken to hospital. At hospital I was x-rayed and the diagnosis, which turned out to be incomplete, was internal bruising of the ribs. It was thought that I would be better in a couple of days.

The next performance in London, Ontario on the 9th September was cancelled and I spent a day in bed taking pain killers. We drove to New York for the band's next performance on the 12th September. In New York, on 9 September 2008 I found it difficult to move and I was in acute pain in spite of the painkillers. We decided to cancel the New York show which was scheduled to take place at the Terminal 5 club. This was also scheduled to be filmed for television broadcast which had to be cancelled along with important promotion work for our new album.

I flew back to London and went to see a chiropractor who sent me for a further x-ray at the London Clinic. I was told that I had 3 broken ribs on the left side of my back. I was informed by the doctor that the ribs had broken as a result of the push in my back and not the fall. The initial pain I had experienced was as a result of bruising to the front ribs when I fell on to the monitors. I was prescribed further pain killers but effectively told to grin and bear it for a minimum of 8 weeks. In spite of the pain killers I continued to be in serious pain for about 3 months during which time I saw a physiotherapist 3 times a week. I remained in some degree of pain for a total period of 8 months.

On my return to England from New York we were scheduled to start the British part of the band's tour. However, I was unable to perform without pain killers to adapt my performance to accommodate the pain.

As a result of the injury the band had to cancel a show in London Ontario on 9 September, the Terminal 5 performance in New York on 12 September, (a filmed show for television and a large promotional event). In the UK following the full and correct diagnosis three media concerts had to be cancelled, one on 27 September (a live performance at the Eden Project in Cornwall which was to be transmitted worldwide by MTV), one on 29 September, (a live show in Cologne, Germany, to be transmitted on radio throughout Europe), and on 30 September a live TV show in Paris for Canal Plus. The band also had to cancel a 2 October appearance on the Jonathan Ross TV show, an important promotional appearance, as well as a performance on the television show "Later with Jools Holland". The promotional work in connection with the launch of the new album was very important to its success and early sales momentum. This opportunity was lost.

I have been told that I will never really recover from the damage to my ribs and from time to time I still feel painful twinges. The emotional impact it had on me was essentially coping with the pressure to perform so as not to let the band down. This has never happened to me before. For a considerable period of time I was only operating at 50% of my capabilities and this naturally spoilt the enjoyment of the tour.”

Sullivan has previously admitted that he was drunk at the time and has no memory of how he eluded festival security, climbed onstage and pushed Noel, before lunging at brother Liam, while security tackled him to the ground.

Daniel has already pled guilty to assault causing bodily harm in the case; Gallagher is reportedly suing him for $2 million dollars.

Sullivan is expected to be sentenced on April 21.

Oasis – Toronto attack by Daniel Sullivan
Virgin Music Festival, September 2009