Dec 13, 2023

Leading Adelaide surgeon dies from critical injuries in home invasion assault

One of Adelaide’s top surgeons, Dr Michael Yung, passed away on Tuesday night despite the best efforts of doctors. [Source: Daily Mail Australia]

A leading Adelaide surgeon who was allegedly assaulted in his own home on Monday morning has died in hospital, despite the best efforts of doctors at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

And in breaking news from Wednesday morning, Major Crime detectives and Star Group officers arrested and charged a 22-year-old man and 27-year-old woman from Thebarton with murder, aggravated serious criminal trespass and commit theft using force. Both will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.

Dr Michael Yung, 61, was attacked around at about 4.20am on Monday morning with neighbours first raising the alarm when they heard the sound of a break-in – something that has become increasingly common in Adelaide’s affluent inner eastern suburbs.

Mr Yung, the former Head of the Women and Children’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, was found by emergency services with serious injuries. Doctors performed emergency surgery right away, placing the respected surgeon into an induced coma. Sadly he did not survive the injuries.

Rebecca Graham, The Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) Interim Chief Executive Officer, thanked their colleagues at the RAH for providing such compassionate care.

“Dr Yung is the former head of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and a treasured colleague and friend to many in our Network. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and close colleagues on behalf of everyone here at WCHN,” Ms Graham said.

“Dr Yung will also be greatly missed by the many families he has supported through some of the most difficult times in their lives and my heart goes out to them also.”

Dr Yung’s death is another tragic blow to the family, which includes his unharmed 30-year-old son who was present during the attack, after the death of his wife three years ago.

Kathryn Browne-Yung, a PhD holder and health expert, passed away unexpectedly in her sleep in March 2020. Dr Yung created the Kathryn Browne-Yung Scholarship fund to support Indigenous medical students, with Ms Graham asking for donations to be made in lieu of flowers.

Police Minister Joe Szakacs highlighted the experienced paediatrician’s impact on the Adelaide community.

“I, as a dad with young children, have spent some significant time in the emergency department of Women’s and Children’s and the care with which our clinicians undertake their role in support of our families is extraordinary,” Szakacs said.

“This is a horrible, horrible set of circumstances and I’m heartened to see the outpouring of support that has been offered at this really troubling and difficult time.”

Group of offenders already known to police

Mr Yung’s home in Gilberton is not the only one to have been targeted by intruders in recent weeks, although it is the first to have resulted in an assault and death. Local residents have CCTV footage of the alleged attackers attempting to break in, while a police taskforce called Operation Mandrake has been tracking a series of crime sprees across Adelaide.

“[Operation Mandrake] have been investigating a crime series that’s occurred over the last few days and involves up to 15 incidents where people are either trying to break into homes or steal vehicles at Gilberton, Walkerville, Medindie, Henley Beach, Fulham, and Tennyson,” SA Police Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.

“Operation Mandrake and detectives from across the metropolitan areas are actively seeking those offenders, most of whom are known to them.”

In the days following the incident, detectives discovered that a group of five people were seen in the area driving a black BMW and attempting to enter several properties. Although they later crashed the car in a beachside suburb some 30 minutes away, they stole another car and returned to James Street.

A torch was seen near Dr Yung’s home at 3.40am and a person was spotted trying to open the door of his son’s car. There is no alleged personal motive for the attack with the family targeted because of the vehicle or small items that could be stolen.

“It’s early days in the investigation but I can say that I am very happy with the process of the investigation to date and we’re pursuing a number of positive lines of inquiry. I hope that we can get an outcome for the family in this matter, but that doesn’t take away the terrible suffering the family are experiencing at the moment,” Superintendent Bray said.

Police have not confirmed whether this group is exactly the same as the duo arrested on Wednesday. However, they have said no other suspects are being sought out and “there has been no connection identified between the arrested people and those being sought for a recent crime spree across Adelaide”.

Anyone with information about the incident or the offenders, or with dashcam footage from 12am to 5am on Monday December 11 within a 500m radius of James Street, Gilberton, is urged to contact the police. You can report information online at or call 1800 333 000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Leading Adelaide surgeon remains in critical condition after alleged assault at home

A leading Adelaide doctor continues to fight for his life after he was allegedly assaulted in his own home, potentially by the same gang of thieves also caught on a neighbour’s CCTV footage attempting to break into their home. Read More