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# 204386 29-Sep-2016 12:16
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So whats everybody's take on this I am sure there are some strong opinions floating around. Personally myself I think there has been an injustice done and the sentence did not fit the crime at the sentencing stage.





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  # 1642537 29-Sep-2016 12:26
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I'd like to see the sentence reviewed.

 

It does not quite pass the Sniff Test for me. Over the past few years, I have got the impression that rugby players get an easier time of it than Joe Public would in similar circumstances.

 

Apparently a lot of youngsters find rugby more interesting than I do and look up to the players as role models, so it seems to me that it is important that when the players transgress appropriate behaviour, those who look up to them see the proper consequences of those actions, rather than seeing them skate by with a lenient sentence.

 

I make no specific comment on the sentence in this case other than that a review by the appropriate person seems wise.






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  # 1642569 29-Sep-2016 12:58
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It doesn't pass the sniff test for me either.  In fact I don't think "discharge without conviction" based on present or future occupation is a valid reason in any case where there's violence and a prison sentence would be normal.  Have an occupation - or aspirations to have one - where criminal conviction would be a problem - then surely you've got a responsibility to keep your nose clean.

 

If that causes a problem (lack of discharge without conviction) in cases of victimless crime, petty theft etc, then to avoid the problems where conviction for some silly lapse could be detrimental to someone's entire life, then change these from being crimes to misdemeanors.  I have a cousin who's now a very good lawyer and fine young person, who was discharged without conviction for shoplifting when he was about 18.  Now it could have gone the other way - by chance he might not have been discharged which would have been a serious problem.  If he'd have been prosecuted and fined for a misdemeanor not on the record, justice would have been better served, he'd still be a lawyer, and the suspicion that he'd "got off" only because he came from a rich family (probably true BTW) would be removed.  If he'd been a repeat offender shoplifting, then he should have been charged with a crime and shouldn't be a lawyer.  Where's the problem with that?


 
 
 
 




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  # 1642575 29-Sep-2016 13:06
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I can understand if you are young and it is a minor offence (non violence) where leniency can be used (as long as its not repeated offences).

 

However to attack 4 people and leave them in the state they were I am sorry but a get out of jail card for that is just not right.





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  # 1642576 29-Sep-2016 13:06
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Firstly, I recall wild-child Marc Ellis years ago advised students to apply for discharge without conviction because it had always been good for him, or words to that effect. So it's not just rugby players that benefit... anyone youthful with good prospects could potentially get out of jail free. I don't know enough about what actually happened to second-guess the judge on granting this. Presumably the Solicitor-General review will answer that.

 

Secondly, if Filipo is the thug he has been portrayed, it's up to the courts, not the WRU, to punish him. I doubt that my employer would fire me if I'm convicted of assaulting someone.

 

Thirdly, I'm not happy with the whole idea of hiring people to be role models. I have no particular problem with paying people to play sport, but including the requirement of (the appearance of) 24-hour sainthood is unreasonable. What business is it of the NZRU or WRU what one of their employees does in their own time, so long as it doesn't detract from their on-field performance? 

 

Fourthly, I gather that the offense happened *before* Filipo got his rugby contract. That makes firing him even more tenuous, IMHO. Unless his contract required him to expose all pending prosecutions, and he didn't. But extending the sainthood requirement to the time before the contract was signed is crazy.

 

Fifthly, there's no reason for the NZRU or the WRU to apologise to anyone. That's ridiculous. They've done nothing wrong. If I should ever be convicted of anything, I'm damn sure my employer won't be apologising.

 

Sixthly, I suspect that Filipo "voluntarily" withdrew from his contract in the face of an offer he couldn't refuse, possibly including some kind of payout by the WRU. It stinks that the WRU would stoop to this rather than facing the PR issue.

 

 


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  # 1642577 29-Sep-2016 13:07
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Wow, I was shocked.

 

Its a fair point to say that his sport situation causes the punishment to exceed what Joe Average would have got. That's understandable

 

So, make the punishment avoid the effect on his sports, but use another form of punishment. 150 hours community service for what he did, the guy was laid up in hospital for ages, hasn't worked for 8 months.

 

1500 Hours community work, at a minimum of 25 hours per week

 

Reparation of every cents its cost the victims in lost wages, i.e. the 20% that ACC doesnt pay.

 

Compensation at say $5k for the guy and some for the girls.

 

Its also fair to say that this is a serious crime, and too freaking bad if you think you can do that and walk away. If it was a silly drunken punch then assess that but this was bad. I see he's been sacked, so maybe he can have a sentence that wont affect his career??

 

 


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  # 1642586 29-Sep-2016 13:14
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Yes - the issue IMO is how the courts dealt with this - there is no way he should have been let off (if everything being reported about the crime is true). It doesn't matter who or what he does (rugby player or priest), if you commit a crime of that severity there should be no leniancy shown. As you say @frankv, it shouldn't really fall on the NZRU or WRU to apologise other than how they handled the incident themselves.

 

However in saying that, he has put both unions in a very difficult position by his actions and the negative PR it has created. Whereas I doubt the same would be true with you and your employer if you were convicted of assault. It is just the nature of a professional rugby player in NZ. Therefore terminating his contact, which was mutually agreed by the sounds of it, seems a fair outcome.

 

I have zero sympathy for him personally - I do however feel very sorry for the victims who have on going health issues as a result of this attack.


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  # 1642587 29-Sep-2016 13:14
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frankv:

 

Firstly, I recall wild-child Marc Ellis years ago advised students to apply for discharge without conviction because it had always been good for him, or words to that effect. So it's not just rugby players that benefit... anyone youthful with good prospects could potentially get out of jail free. I don't know enough about what actually happened to second-guess the judge on granting this. Presumably the Solicitor-General review will answer that.

 

Secondly, if Filipo is the thug he has been portrayed, it's up to the courts, not the WRU, to punish him. I doubt that my employer would fire me if I'm convicted of assaulting someone.

 

Thirdly, I'm not happy with the whole idea of hiring people to be role models. I have no particular problem with paying people to play sport, but including the requirement of (the appearance of) 24-hour sainthood is unreasonable. What business is it of the NZRU or WRU what one of their employees does in their own time, so long as it doesn't detract from their on-field performance? 

 

Fourthly, I gather that the offense happened *before* Filipo got his rugby contract. That makes firing him even more tenuous, IMHO. Unless his contract required him to expose all pending prosecutions, and he didn't. But extending the sainthood requirement to the time before the contract was signed is crazy.

 

Fifthly, there's no reason for the NZRU or the WRU to apologise to anyone. That's ridiculous. They've done nothing wrong. If I should ever be convicted of anything, I'm damn sure my employer won't be apologising.

 

Sixthly, I suspect that Filipo "voluntarily" withdrew from his contract in the face of an offer he couldn't refuse, possibly including some kind of payout by the WRU. It stinks that the WRU would stoop to this rather than facing the PR issue.

 

 

 

 

1 - Marc Ellis was a rugby player - he was an All Black (also, in League, a Warrior and a NZ Kiwi). I don't know if any of his discharges (if he had any) were for 'serious' crimes like violence.

 

2. A lot of employers would fire people for being convicted of an offence, especially a violence one (The police, for a start...). Professional sportspeople have and do get dropped/fired for criminal convictions all the time.

 

3. Agree with you on the Role Model thing, but Rugby players, will be held up to be Role models whehter that is the intention or not. They are in the public eye, we want our kids to play sport, they will look up to them. It's only natural.

 

4. I think Filipo resigned, WRU did not fire him.

 

5. The NZRU handled it badly IMO. Sure, there is not legal reason for them to be involved, but coming only a few weeks after the sordid Stripper thing with the Chiefs, they should have front-footed this a bit better.

 

6 - Maybe - we will probably never know that one but I imagine the WRU was very happy when he resigned.

 

 

 

In my opinion, it is the Judge who dropped the ball the worst here. I can't see how someone who did what he did (allegedly?) got a Discharge without Conviction.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1642588 29-Sep-2016 13:15
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It's just yet another piece of evidence to show that the legal system focuses too much on the rights of the offenders, and not the rights of the victims.

 

It's what we get for years of wishy washy liberals focusing on "rehabilitating" people instead of compensating victims and punishing offenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  # 1642591 29-Sep-2016 13:20
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A professional review would seem appropriate.





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  # 1642596 29-Sep-2016 13:23
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tdgeek:

 

Wow, I was shocked.

 

Its a fair point to say that his sport situation causes the punishment to exceed what Joe Average would have got. That's understandable

 

 

It's a point to make but I disagree that it is fair.

 

He has got off lightly without being sent to prison. That is much less than Joe Average would have got: time in prison and lost job.


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  # 1642601 29-Sep-2016 13:29
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Hammerer:

 

tdgeek:

 

Wow, I was shocked.

 

Its a fair point to say that his sport situation causes the punishment to exceed what Joe Average would have got. That's understandable

 

 

It's a point to make but I disagree that it is fair.

 

He has got off lightly without being sent to prison. That is much less than Joe Average would have got: time in prison and lost job.

 

 

What I was getting at is that say Joe Average did this crime, he gets a sentence. If this rugger player got the same sentence, he does the time, plus he is also penalised for his sport, so its not the same as Joe Average. BUT his sentence needs to be changed so that he does pay. I outlined some options. If this was prison for 18 months, make it 11 months, plus heaps of community service. That way he pays, and he now has to apply for a Visa on every trip but the less than 12 months avoids a shutout. 

 

The issue is what is fair? Discharge is not, obviously, but you can enter countries with a prison record, generally as long as its under 12 months. So he can do time. And live on a Visa if he stays in sport


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  # 1642605 29-Sep-2016 13:35
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Does a assualt conviction and a little prison time effect a future that much? Especially a rugby one. I know professionals with convictions and a little jail time, They can still overseas travel, get good jobs.




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  # 1642609 29-Sep-2016 13:46
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I am confused with our justice system , If I say went out and bashed 4 people and ended up in court without any previous charges be granted no conviction because precedence has been set via this case ??.





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  # 1642619 29-Sep-2016 13:55
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Mspec:

 

I am confused with our justice system , If I say went out and bashed 4 people and ended up in court without any previous charges be granted no conviction because precedence has been set via this case ??.

 

 

 

 

No.  You'd need (probably an expensive lawyer) to argue your case based on your character and circumstances.  No precedent needed as this absurdity isn't because of some kind of interpretation of unclear law - it is a clear but stupid law already in place.

 

Perhaps the fuss here is that an unfair law intended to give the sons of the rich and white a break was used by someone with a brown face.


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  # 1642624 29-Sep-2016 13:59
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It's an absolute clanger of a decision. There's no ”allegedly” about this - the word 'guilty' recorded against every decision shows this quite clearly. If he wasn't guilty there wouldn't have been any need for a discharge without conviction... As for the lack of action by the rugby unions and the initial attempts at washing hands - disgusting. Whether some people like it or not, rugby players in the upper echelons do get held up as role models. Is Filipo fit to be a role model? - clearly not. Overall, I think this a great example (second in recent weeks) of why this country needs minimum sentencing laws.

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