'I'm simply a victim' - Marshall

Justin Marshall.
Justin Marshall.
One of two men accused of assaulting Justin Marshall claims the ex-All Black threw the first punch - but Marshall says he's not to blame.

Two Christchurch men, Adam David Kearns (23) and Tai Samuel Neilson (25), have been charged with assaulting Mr Marshall with intent to injure him after an incident outside a Queenstown strip club on Good Friday, APNZ reported.

Mr Marshall, speaking to Mountain Scene yesterday before the case was due to come up in the Queenstown District Court, said: ''Basically, what happened, it's not my fault. I'm simply a victim, but probably as a victim no-one gives a toss about [publicising] the victim until you've got a name like mine.''

Kearns, speaking to Radio New Zealand last night, claimed Marshall threw the first punch.

''I was out for my birthday, he got cheeky and it went from there,'' Kearns alleged.

''It was a tit-for-tat situation. It wasn't just me. Just because he's got a big name doesn't mean he should get off scot-free for throwing the first hit, you know,'' he said.

Radio New Zealand: ''So [Mr Marshall] punched you?''Kearns: ''Yes, course he punched me. I punched him as well.''

Mr Marshall, now a Sky rugby commentator who played 81 All Black tests at halfback, would not discuss the matter further yesterday morning, saying he wanted name suppression.

Court registrar Fiona Hutchins declined his name suppression bid and granted bail to the two accused. Kearns and Neilson must reside at their home addresses and observe a curfew between 9pm and 6am daily.

They are scheduled to appear in the Queenstown District Court to enter pleas on May 19.

No further details of the alleged Good Friday incident were revealed in court.

Radio New Zealand also reported Kearns is the son of Helen Milner, who was imprisoned last year for murdering her husband, Philip Nisbet.

Kearns gave evidence in court against his mother and is now suing her for $60,000 for attempting to frame him.


 - By Ryan Keen