Australian John Bourke dies following brutal Bali attack

By @chelean on
Medical illustration: Washed surgical instruments ready to be packed prior sterilization in Arpajon hospital, March 2003.
Medical illustration: Washed surgical instruments ready to be packed prior sterilization in Arpajon hospital, March 2003. Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

Australian John Bourke died in a hospital on Friday morning after he was bashed unconscious in Bali, Indonesia, last week. The 63-year-old from Darwin was attacked on May 12 in his villa in Kerobokan, where he had lived for the past eight years.

Ida Bagus Alit, Bourke’s doctor, told 9News that the retired mining engineer died in Sanglah Hospital at 3:20 a.m. He was placed in an induced coma but failed to recover from his the injuries he sustained from an attack on May 12.

Bourke was found unconscious in his living room around 4:30 a.m. on that day by a friend, who stayed in Bourke’s upstairs villa that night.

“When I was asleep, around 1:0 a.m., I heard noises, but I didn’t think anything of it and went back to sleep. By 4:30 a.m., I heard loud noises,” Polce Fanggidae was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald as saying. “When (John) didn’t answer, I looked down from the second floor and saw him in the living room, covered in blood. There were trails of blood from his room to the living room.”

Polce tried to ask his friend what happened, but Bourke was too badly injured to respond. Polce said he recently helped Bourke sell his TV and some furniture so he could pay for his visa extension. The elderly Australian was hit with a sharp object that caused laceration above his left eye. He also suffered from a second blow to the back of his head, causing severe bleeding to the brain.

Reinhard Habonaran Nainggolan, Denpasar crime division police chief, said there was no sign of break-in at Bourke’s residence.

That was not the first time Bourke was attacked. He also suffered injuries when someone broke in his home and hit him with a stick 11 days prior to the second attack.

As Bourke had no medical insurance, American William Irvin, who has been living in Bali for six years now, started a GoFundMe for his fellow expat. Bourke needed a maximum of US$20,000 (AU$27,600) for a surgery to relieve pressure on his brain from internal bleeding. Irvin was able to raise US$15,000 (AU$20,700) in eight days before Bourke passed away.

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