7 May 2016

Samoan rugby star avoids jail for assault

8:57 am on 7 May 2016

A Samoan international rugby player who knocked a British student unconscious in an "unprovoked" attack has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Alafoti Faosiliva, 30, who plays for Samoa and Bath, admitted assaulting Nissi Kyeremeh on 6 February.

Bath's Samoan flanker Alafoti Faosiliva (centre) makes a break during the European Rugby Champions Cup rugby union match between Bath and Montpellier at the Recreation Ground in Bath, December 12, 2014.

Alafoti Faosiliva (centre) in a European Rugby Champions Cup rugby union match between Bath and Montpellier, 2014. Photo: AFP

Bath Magistrates' Court heard the university student was punched after checking on the player, who seemed upset.

Faosiliva received an eight week sentence suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay Mr Kyeremeh £1500 in compensation.

The court was told Faosiliva had expressed remorse for the assault. Mark Haslem, representing the rugby player, said his client, who had been drinking in the SouthGate area of Bath, had "come to his senses" following the attack and tried to apologise.

"There was no premeditation. The defendant had completely lost the plot," Mr Haslem said.

After the attack Mr Kyeremeh told police: "He had no reason to behave in this way. My only action was to check on his welfare."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Kyeremeh said: ""Since the incident I have suffered with dizziness, blurry vision and the inability to sleep.

"The incident has had a dramatic impact on my studies. I am unable to concentrate and unable to retain information."

Faosiliva, who joined Bath in 2013, has been suspended by the club and faces disciplinary proceedings.

Speaking outside court, Faosiliva said: "I want to apologise to my club, to my team, for what happened. I want to say thank you for the support."