Bachop admits assault charges

Stephen Bachop
Stephen Bachop
Former All Black Stephen Bachop has pleaded guilty to four charges laid after Rugby World Cup final celebrations last October.

The 45-year-old admitted two assault counts, one of possessing cannabis and one of resisting police when he appeared before Judge Susan Thomas in Wellington District Court this morning.

A further charge of possessing utensils for cannabis use was withdrawn. One of the assault accusations was reduced from male assaults female - allegedly his wife - to a Summaries Offences Act assault.

Judge Thomas did not enter convictions when she remanded Bachop on continued bail for sentencing on May 31.

Any application for a discharge without conviction was to be filed seven days in advance, she said.

Bachop had entered not guilty pleas to all the charges late last year and a defended hearing had been set down for May 28.

An application for police diversion on the original charges was declined at an early stage.

The former New Zealand Colts, Western Samoa and All Blacks player initially had name suppression but did not pursue it at a December callover.

He said then, through his lawyer Val Nisbet, that he had wanted time for he and his partner to speak with their children, immediate family and employers.

Bachop also said he was not pursuing name suppression because he wanted to prevent any potentially negative impact on other former All Blacks.

Yesterday Mr Nisbet told Judge Thomas it had been an emotional time for the family.

"A quick resolution to this would be of benefit to them all.''

An application for police diversion was declined at an early stage.

After learning yesterday that police intended to reduce the male assaults female charge to a lesser count of assault and to withdraw the charge of possessing cannabis utensils, Judge Thomas gave Bachop until this morning to decide whether to change his pleas on the remaining counts.

The summary of facts has not yet been read out in court.

It is understood the assaults (on his partner and a passer-by who intervened) were filmed on CCTV cameras outside Wellington Central Police Station in the early hours of last October 24.

Bachop had been commentating at a nearby pub during the broadcast of the World Cup final between the All Blacks and France.

 - Rosaleen Macbrayne



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