Second Australian man pleads guilty to bashing India-born doctor

MELBOURNE - A second man has pleaded guilty to attacking India-born doctor and former head of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Mukesh Haikerwal in this Australian city, a media report said Monday.

Alfer Azzopardi, 20, Monday pleaded guilty to a total of 41 charges involving a series of armed robberies, attempted armed robberies and assaults around Melbourne, The Age reported.

Haikerwal was attacked in Williamstown Sep 27 last year by a gang involved in a series of armed robberies in metropolitan Melbourne between August and September last year.

He was kicked and punched while he lay on the ground and then struck on the head with a baseball bat.

“Haikerwal, who suffered two blood clots in his brain and a fractured skull, underwent emergency surgery and was in a coma,” the report said.

A prosecutor Monday told Melbourne Magistrates Court that 42 charges would be withdrawn against Azzopardi.

Magistrate Amanda Chambers remanded Azzopardi in custody to appear in the County Court in November.

He will appear then with co-defendant, Michael Baltatzis, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to 44 charges, for a two-day plea hearing.

Baltatzis, who is in custody, pleaded guilty to 44 charges, including 21 of armed robbery and “a charge of intentionally causing serious injury to Dr Haikerwal”.

He also pleaded guilty robbing him of a wallet worth $50 while armed with a knife.

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