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Hammer bashing claims Irish backpacker

An Irish backpacker who was critically injured during a vicious hammer attack at a St Kilda East boarding house last month has died in hospital this morning, police say.

David Greene, 30, had been in The Alfred hospital's intensive care unit since August 26, when he and another Irish backpacker, David Byas, were attacked at the boarding house in Lynedoch Avenue.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the 30-year-old man died in hospital from his injuries this morning, nearly two weeks after the assault.

Mr Byas, 28, remains in The Alfred in a serious condition.

Both men, who are from Dublin, suffered life-threatening head injuries during the attack at the boarding house about 1am on the Sunday morning.

They were reportedly attacked after intervening when another man made advances to a woman at the house.


Mr Greene's parents, Aidan and Catherine, had left Dublin the day after the assault to be with their son. Mr Byas' parents, Fran and Philomena, had also travelled to Australia, the Embassy of Ireland said in a statement issued last month.

The two men had not been travelling together, but had known each other as they both grew up in Cabinteely, a suburb of Dublin.

A friend of Mr Greene's told Ireland's Evening Herald newspaper last week that Mr Greene had left Ireland in 2010 because there was no work there.

"Everyone is devastated by what happened. He is so popular and so kind," said the unidentified friend. Mr Byas is reportedly in a coma but had shown signs of responsiveness, his brother Karl told the newspaper last month.

"They say it is positive news but it is early days yet. Things still aren't good but we will take any good news we can," he said.

"The news that the doctors are giving is a move in the right direction but there is still a long way to go and we don't fully know what lies ahead," Karl told the Herald.

Everyone is devastated by what happened. He is so popular and so kind.

Mr Byas was the second-youngest of five boys and had travelled to Australia after losing his job as an electrician in Ireland.

"He's been getting on fine over there and sends us back photographs," Karl Byas said.

Police said a third man was arrested at The Alfred hospital after seeking treatment for injuries about 4.30am on the morning of the attack.

Luke James Wentholt, from St Kilda East, was charged the following day with two counts each of intentionally causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury.

He was remanded in custody to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 8.

Homicide Squad detectives have now taken over the investigation.