27 Aug 2014

No Crown appeal over punch death

8:25 pm on 27 August 2014

The family of Stephen Dudley say they have had no solace from the judicial process, now that the Crown has decided not to appeal against the sentence given to a teenager who punched the boy before he died.

The 15-year-old, who had an undiagnosed heart condition, died in hospital after being hit following a rugby practice in June last year.

Two teenagers were initially charged with manslaughter, but the charges were downgraded to assault after the pre-existing heart condition was discovered.

An 18-year-old pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure. However, Justice Winkelmann found the consequences of a conviction for him would outweigh the seriousness of the crime and discharged him without conviction when he appeared in the High Court at Auckland.

Crown Law has reviewed the sentence but decided not to appeal against the decision, saying there is no jurisdiction to do it.

A Dudley family spokesperson, Albert Dudley, said the family was extremely upset.

"They are obviously very disappointed. Just at the moment, they are taking time out to reflect on that decision and gather their thoughts to look to where they can proceed to from here."

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