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.

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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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