Former NRL rising star Manase Fainu has been jailed for a minimum of 4years and three months after he was discovered responsible of stabbing a youth chief throughout a violent and bloody brawl outdoors a Mormon church dance.
Fainu realized his destiny on Friday afternoon contained in the Parramatta District Court as he was sentenced by Judge Nanette Williams.
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Once thought-about one in all rugby league’s brightest prospects, the previous Manly hooker’s NRL profession is nearly actually over having not performed since his arrest in October, 2019.
His attorneys have already flagged their intention to enchantment the sentence.
A jury earlier this 12 months took just some hours to seek out Fainu, 24, responsible of 1 rely of wounding an individual with intent to trigger grievous bodily hurt.
He pleaded not responsible at trial, however a jury discovered that he had plunged a steak knife into the again of Faamanu Levi on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Wattle Grove in southwestern Sydney on the night of October 25, 2019.
The most penalty for the cost is 25 years in jail.
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On Friday, Judge Williams sentenced Fainu to eight years in jail with a non-parole interval of 4 years and three months.
With time served, he’ll first be eligible for launch in October 2026.
His solicitor Paul McGirr beforehand mentioned the “wheels are in motion” for an enchantment.
Mr McGirr mentioned that he wouldn’t launch proceedings within the Court of Criminal Appeal till after Fainu had been sentenced.
The jury accepted the Crown prosecution’s argument that Fainu stabbed Mr Levi within the again close to his shoulder blade in the course of the brawl, which additionally concerned 4 of his mates towards one other group of males.
One eyewitness, Tony Quach, advised the court docket he had seen Mr Fainu stab Mr Levi, puncturing his lungs and inflicting inside bleeding.
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“The offender, who was observed to have an angry look on his face, used the steak knife and plunged it into the victim,” Judge Williams recounted from Mr Quach’s testimony.
The former NRL star then slashed the knife in an upward movement in the direction of the sufferer’s face to trigger a deep reduce above his eyebrow, the court docket heard.
Mr Quach testified he noticed Fainu had one arm in a sling whereas the opposite hand-held the steak knife which he used to stab Mr Levi within the church parking zone.
It was not contested in the course of the trial that Fainu had his arm in a sling after present process shoulder surgical procedure a month earlier and that he was within the carpark.
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However, Fainu denied taking part in any half within the brawl, claiming he started back-pedalling as a result of he feared for his security when he heard somebody yell “knife, knife”.
The court docket was advised earlier within the night, two of Fainu’s pals – together with Uona “Big Buck” Faingaa – have been concerned in an altercation on the church corridor dance flooring and have been escorted out.
Fainu mentioned he voluntarily left the church grounds, apologising to the safety guard on his means out the gate.
CCTV footage performed in the course of the trial confirmed Fainu and 4 of his mates pulling up in an adjoining Coles automobile park and leaping again into the church grounds.
The footage confirmed Fainu and his pals utilizing a hearth hydrant to spice up themselves over a tall brick wall into the parking zone.
Fainu climbed the fence, regardless of having his arm in a sling and telling the jury that he may have walked again within the entrance gate.
Mr Fainu testified that he went to the dance to assist one in all his pals, Uona “Big Buck” Faingaa, acquire cash he was owed by a person for a concreting job.
He gave proof that he had advised his pals he would go inside to gather Mr Faingaa’s cash by himself, however they adopted him over the fence earlier than the brawl erupted a short while later.
The jury in the end accepted the prosecution’s model of occasions that Fainu had ended the brawl when he stabbed Mr Levi.
In a letter to the court docket, the sufferer defined the brutal assault had modified his life perpetually.
“The events of this night will stay with me my whole life,” he wrote.
“I now find myself guarded and scared. The fact that this attack took place at a church event … made me realise nowhere is safe.”
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Mr Levi mentioned he had been making an attempt to “do the right thing” by breaking apart the battle contained in the church dance corridor however he had been rewarded with a knife within the again.
He mentioned the assault had left him unable to pursue his dream of turning into a police officer as a consequence of his lingering well being points and fixed concern about being assaulted.
“I am always watching my back and live in fear that I will be attacked again,” he advised the court docket.
“All I have left is hope and God.”
Despite the ache and concern, Mr Levi mentioned he felt sorry for Fainu and would pray for him.
The stabbing reduce Fainu’s profession brief at a time when legendary former Manly Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler mentioned the hooker “had the world at his feet”.
“I have absolutely no doubt that he was destined for greatness,” the NRL teaching nice mentioned in a press release learn in court docket.
He believed Fainu, like different younger athletes, had skilled a “Superman Complex” which meant he thought he couldn’t be harmed, an expertise exacerbated by the pressures of elite sport.
“Given another chance, Manase could be a person who others could look up to, as a phoenix of sorts who would do anything to improve himself … and would rise again better and wiser,” Mr Hasler mentioned.