Manu Sevens star fined, discharged without conviction

The District Court has given Manu Samoa Sevens star, Siaosi Asofolau, a second chance to pursue his rugby career in Australia. 

The man from Maninoa Siumu was fined $600 tala and discharged without conviction on Friday. 

He had pleaded guilty to three charges of assault, being armed with a dangerous weapon and throwing an object.

The charges stemmed from a dispute at his village. 

Represented by lawyer, Afamasaga Michael So'onalole, 28-year-old rugby player recently had his contract with the Samoa Rugby Union terminated.

In handing down the verdict, District Court Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma urged Asofolau not to waste the opportunity he has been given by the Court. 

“You deserve a second chance, the Court will grant you that opportunity,” said Judge Fepulea'i. 

The Judge considered that the offending from Asofolau is at the lower end of the scale and a conviction will affect his rugby career in Australia. 

“The consequence of conviction is the adverse impact opportunity for you to travel and play rugby for a rugby club in Melbourne, Australia," Judge Fepulea'i said. 

“I am satisfied a conviction will have a direct impact on your ability to travel to Australia to pursue a valuable opportunity in rugby following the termination of your contract by S.R.U. and building a future there.”

Judge Fepulea'i had also considered that the people involved in the dispute with the rugby player have reconciled with him and had undergone a six-week programme and expressed remorse. 

 He emphasised that after determining the gravity of the offending from Asofolau, he is satisfied that a conviction will be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending. 

The $600 tala fine for Asofolau is for Court and prosecution costs that have to be paid before Thursday next week. 

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