Police to appeal Losi Filipo sentence

Wellington rugby player Losi Filipo, right, was discharged without conviction. Photo: Getty Images
Wellington rugby player Losi Filipo, right, was discharged without conviction. Photo: Getty Images

Police are to appeal the discharge without conviction of Losi Filipo.

Filipo, 18, was last month discharged without conviction for an attack that occurred in central Wellington in October 2015.

He was charged with assaulting Kelsey Odell, 22, her boyfriend Hayden Williams, 22, Greg Morgan, 21, and Olivia Samuels, 22.

The sentence caused an outcry from Filipo's victims and other members of the public, who say Filipo should be convicted.

In a media statement, the Crown Law Office said the Solicitor-General had reviewed the matter.

"Approval has been given to the Police to file an application for leave to appeal, on a question of law, against the decision to discharge Mr Filipo without conviction.

"That application has now been filed in the Wellington High Court."

The confirmation of an appeal was immediately applauded by Bob McCoskrie, director of the conservative lobby group Family First NZ.

"This offender-friendly sentence sent a dangerous message that we don't value the protection of victims and the safety of the public in a case that involved significant violence towards both males and females," he said.

"This is not about revenge as some will suggest. This is about an appropriate sentence which reflects the gravity of the crime."

Wellington Rugby terminated Filipo's contract earlier this week.

Members of the public are reacting on social media, following the news.

Many are praising the move by police to appeal Judge Bruce Davidson's decision.

One person simply wrote: "Finally!"

Another said: "About bloody time and it better not be a smack with a wet bus ticket!"

Another person commented that their faith in the New Zealand justice system - and humanity - had been restored following the news.

Others, however, are questioning the motives to seek an appeal.

One man wrote: "What a joke. Only reason police are doing anything is because of the public outrage.''

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