The Crown will not appeal a decision to discharge a teen
who assaulted schoolboy Stephen Dudley before his death last
The 18-year-old with permanent name suppression, who attacked
15-year-old Stephen after rugby practice, was discharged
without conviction at the start of this month in Auckland
Justice Helen Winkelmann's decision was challenged by Crown
prosecutors who referred the case to the Solicitor-General's
office for appeal.
However, in a statement released today, the deputy
Solicitor-General said the Crown would not appeal the
"The deputy Solicitor-General has carefully considered the
facts and the relevant legislative provisions and has
determined that in this particular case there is no
jurisdiction to appeal or review the judge's decision," the
It also noted the "significant degree of public and media"
interest in the case.
West Auckland boy Stephen died after a school rugby training
session on June 6 last year. He was rushed to Auckland City
Hospital but died a short time later.
The 18-year-old was to have faced trial for manslaughter but,
in June, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of assault with
intent to injure.
A 16-year-old boy previously came before the High Court after
also admitting assaulting Stephen. He too was discharged
without conviction earlier this year.
Critically, medical examinations showed an undiagnosed heart
condition contributed to Stephen's death, which saw the Crown
withdraw the manslaughter charge.
The Dudley family said today it was "utterly devastated" by
In a statement released through the Sensible Sentencing
Trust, the Dudley's said: "We are utterly devastated at the
news regarding the law not allowing for this unjustified
discharge without conviction to be appealed.
"The news came as another shocking blow like the ones that
killed our son.
"We ask for privacy at this time while we regroup and
consider our options, but wish to thank all the members of
the New Zealand public for your unwavering support - we will
continue to strive for Justice for Stephen."
- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ