Latu does time

The Wheel
Premium Member
Busting girl's nose gets ex-Shark taste of jail
Email Print Normal font Large font Les Kennedy
June 8, 2006 - 1:00PM

Sacked ... Tevita Latu.
Photo: Mark Nolan

AdvertisementSacked Cronulla rugby league hooker Tevita Latu , 24, has been sentenced to eight months periodic detention for fracturing the nose of a 19-yr-old woman during a altercation at a Cronulla service station last month.

Latu, whose daughter turns one on Saturday, looked shocked when he heard magistrate Ross Clugston deliver his verdict in Sutherland Local Court today when he appeared charged with assault causing actual bodily harm to Brooke Peninton.

Latu's barrister, Jim Barnett, had argued to the magistrate that if anything, Latu, who has no professional or work qualifications other than his career as a footballer, be given a good behaviour bond or fine as a first offender.

Mr Clugston said the assault charge carried a penalty max of $5500 or a two-year prison term.

The court heard that at 3:30pm on Monday, May 22, Latu had gone to a BP garage at Kingsway, Cronulla with some friends after attending a nightclub known as the 2230.

Miss Peninton had also been at the nightclub with a group of friends and had travelled to the service station.

Latu had been eating a bag of chips and was talking to a girlfriend of Miss Peninton who was sitting in a car, when Miss Penninton approached Latu and tried to engage him in a conversation.

A statement of police facts tendered to the court said when Latu ignored her she said to him: "Well i was just trying to introduce myself ... I am not a groupie.''

Latu continued to ignore her and threw a chip at Miss Peninton and then more chips into her friend's vehicle.

Miss Peninton had berated him for throwing chips into the vehicle, saying "you are just being a little ****''.

Mr Clugston said that according to the police evidence, Miss Peninton tried to remove the bag of chips from Latu's hands and in doing so, came into contact with his face.

Latu, who pleaded guilty to the charge and had the case brought forward to the court a week ahead of schedule, then punched her in the face causing her to fall onto her back and hit her head against a brick wall.

Mr Clugston said Miss Peninton lost two false fingernails and suffered a fractured nose as a result of the blow.

Mr Barnett said Latu had written a letter of apology to Miss Peninton and had suffered as a consequence the loss of his two-year contract with the Sharks and had been deregistered indefinitely from playing in the NRL.

Mr Barnett said Latu was unemployed and wished to return to New Zealand for his daughter's birthday this weekend and to be with his family.

Mr Barnett said Latu was also undergoing drug and alcohol counselling and seeing the club chaplain.

Mr Clugston described the assault as a "gross error'', adding "but nonetheless, the victim suffered a broken nose, which is a significant injury''.

He then ordered Latu to serve eight months periodic detention beginning June 21 at the Metropolitan Periodic Detention Centre at Silverwater.

He further ordered that he not be eligible for parole for six months and ordered Latu to pay $65 court costs.

Upon leaving the court, Latu's legal team said they were lodging an immediate appeal against the sentence.

Cronulla Sharks football manager Greg Pierce accompanied Latu to the court saying: "We are just here to give him some support, to lend him a hand''.

"I am not what sure what his deregistration means, whether he can play in NZ or England.

"He's a pretty placid bloke, he has got a daughter, he just wants to get it over with and be done.''


well its obvious, you cant punch but you can bite !!!!

what about how the two fake finger nails got a mention before the busted nose ?

Mayby now a profile footy player is doing some time, the others may well learn, then again probably not!

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