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Russell Berry loses fight for life after bloody Wangaratta brawl

The Age

Shana Morgan

May 26, 2017

Russell Berry's fight to recover from head injuries inflicted during a violent weekend brawl in Wangaratta came to an end when his life support was switched off on Thursday.

The 41-year-old man was the victim of an alleged affray involving five men in the town in Victoria's north-east about 12.30am on Saturday.

Russell Berry's life support was switched off on Thursday, five days after the Wangaratta brawl.
Russell Berry's life support was switched off on Thursday, five days after the Wangaratta brawl. Photo: The Border Mail

Friends remembered Mr Berry as a softly-spoken and kind man who was not the type of person to get involved in fights.

"Russ is as rough as guts on the outside, but is nothing more than a kind-hearted, warm and caring man on the inside," friend Robbie Alexander told The Border Mail.

The scene of the brawl in Wangaratta. The scene of the brawl in Wangaratta. Photo: Shana Morgan/The Border Mail

"A real case of 'never judge a book by its cover'."

Tracey Field said Mr Berry was an "awesome bloke" who "wouldn't harm anyone".

Jacob Allan, 23, was charged with recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence and Christopher Meaney, 27, with recklessly causing injury over the alleged affray. Both men have been in custody since the weekend.

Police have alleged Mr Allan stomped on Mr Berry's head after he was already knocked unconscious, causing the fatal injuries.

A man reportedly produced two machetes to injure Mr Allan and Mr Meaney before the pair allegedly turned on Mr Berry.

Police have spoken to that man, but have not laid charges, pending further investigations.

During the brawl on White Street, blood was sprayed on fences, concrete, and a drain pipe.

Police believe those involved knew each other.