Filipo verdict over-turned

The Herald reports:

The High Court has allowed an appeal against a judge’s decision to discharge rugby player without conviction for assaulting four people, including two women. …

Justice Collins found the sentencing judge “did appear to harbour a degree of uncertainty about the genesis of the assault”.

“The source of Judge Davidson’s uncertainty appears to have been the statements in Losi Filipo’s affidavit . . . In particular, Losi Filipo portrayed his role as being one of assisting his brother after the fighting had started and that he was hit before he delivered any blows. Losi Filipo’s explanation about the genesis of the assault conflicted with the agreed summary of facts.”

However, Judge Davidson was “obliged” to base his sentence indication only upon the agreed summary of facts and victim impact statements , which named Filipo as the aggressor.

Justice Collins also noted the sentencing judge did not refer to the fact Filipo stomped on the head of one victim.

“Those stomps were particularly serious and occurred when Gregory Morgan was already unconscious. This is the most disturbing aspect of Losi Filipo’s behaviour. it was potentially lethal conduct and required specific consideration,” Justice Collins said in his notes.

“Judge Davidson appears to have understated the seriousness of Losi Filipo’s conduct by not specifically referring to the fact he stomped on Gregory Morgan’s head on about four occasions.”

This is the aspect for me that made it extremely serious. A bar fight in one thing, but head stomping is another – especially when the person is unconscious.

Good to see the system has worked and the discharge has been overturned.

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