Rugby player avoids conviction for assault

A man was admitted to hospital after an assault at the Green Island Rugby Football Club but was...
A man was admitted to hospital after an assault at the Green Island Rugby Football Club but was not seriously injured. PHOTO: ODT FILES
A rugby player who punched someone at a post-match function will walk away from the incident without conviction.

Kyle James Martin (24) was charged with injuring by unlawful act following the June 16 incident at the Green Island Rugby Football clubrooms.

However, the charge was effectively withdrawn by police last month after Martin completed the terms of diversion.

Club president Craig Anderson said Martin was suspended while the case progressed through the court but confirmed he would be free to play next year.

The assault came at some cost though.

"He's been doing a bit of community work for the club - doing the toilets up and stuff like that,'' Mr Anderson said.

The Otago Daily Times was told at the time that the victim - who was not connected to the rugby club - was left lying on the floor as a result of the assault, as an event wound down.

Police and paramedics were called shortly after midnight to the Neill St clubrooms.

The victim was initially assessed as being in a critical condition, though that was quickly downgraded and he was later discharged from hospital.

The police diversion scheme allows mostly first offenders to avoid conviction for relatively minor offences by admitting the offence and completing a series of tasks, which may include a restorative-justice conference, making a payment to a victim, community service or undertaking treatment.

"The benefit of this scheme is that it provides an incentive for non-recidivist offenders involved with low-level offending to be punished and to take responsibility for their actions without receiving a conviction,'' police said.

Martin refused to discuss the case or the details of his diversion and deferred to his mother.

She, too, declined to comment.

Finally, Martin's father called the ODT and made an expletive-laden demand to not publish a story.