Sivivatu narrowly escapes assault conviction

All Black winger Sitiveni Sivivatu escaped a conviction on Thursday which could have ended his World Cup dreams after admitting in court to a charge of assaulting his wife.

Judge Phillip Connell said publicity surrounding the case was sufficient penalty and discharged Sivivatu without conviction,
saying the assault was at the lower end of the scale of offending.

Earlier, the court was told the star winger would be unable to play in this year’s World Cup in France if convicted and would be unable to travel to some countries.

But the judge refused a request by Sivivatu and his wife for his name to continue to be suppressed.

“I’m really sorry about what I did, I totally regret it,” Sivivatu told reporters afterwards. “I just want to move on.”

The Fijian-born winger was charged after police were called to his home on March 19 after he slapped his wife twice. The judge said the injuries to Sivivatu’s wife were minor.

Sivivatu was also ordered to pay court costs of $NZ300 and to pay $NZ1000 to a charity.

The 24-year-old has scored 14 tries in 12 Tests for the All Blacks since his debut in 2005.

365 Digital

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