7s player given second chance
A Manu Samoa 7s rugby player has been given a second chance to pursue his rugby career in Australia after the Court fined him $600tala and discharged him without conviction on Friday.
Siaosi Asofolau of Maninoa Siumu pleaded guilty to three charges of assault, armed with dangerous weapon and throwing an object in a dispute at his village.
Represented by lawyer Afamasaga Michael Soonalole, 28-year-old rugby player recently had his contract with the Samoa Rugby Union terminated following the incident.
In handing down the verdict, District Court Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma urged Asofolau not to waste the opportunity he is given by the Court.
“You deserve a second chance, the Court will grant you that opportunity,” said Judge Fepuleai.
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.
“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 Fepuleai had also considered that the people involved in the dispute with the rugby player have reconciled with him and had undergone 6 weeks programme and expressed remorse.
He emphasised that after determining the gravity of the offending from Asofolau, he is satisfied that gravity a conviction will be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending.