24 Jun 2010

Former All Black apologises for 'silly' assault

8:00 pm on 24 June 2010

Former All Black Sione Lauaki says he is sorry for assaulting a man in a Hamilton bar and now wants to get his life back on track.

In the Hamilton District Court on Thursday, the 29-year-old was fined $800 and ordered to pay $500 as an emotional harm payment to his victim.

Speaking outside the court afterwards, Lauaki said that, looking back, he now realises that what he did was silly.

Judge Philip Connell told the court that Lauaki punched the man twice after accusing him of taking one of his drinks - but it turned out that a friend of Lauaki's had taken the drink, not the victim.

Punching the man was gormless, the judge said, adding that Lauaki clearly couldn't control himself when drinking.

Lost Japanese contract

Lauaki's lawyer said that his client was very sorry and that he had had alcohol counselling.

Lauaki lost a contract to play rugby in Japan because of the incident and has subsequently picked up a less lucrative contract in France.

He was also fined $400 for careless use of a motor vehicle and disqualified from driving for two months: in April, he fell asleep at the wheel of his car and crashed through a fence.