Former champ accused of escape attempt

By Kate Shuttleworth

Kalolo Fiaui in training during his boxing days. File photo / Mark Mitchell
Kalolo Fiaui in training during his boxing days. File photo / Mark Mitchell

A Commonwealth Games boxing medallist has appeared in court accused of trying to break out of prison.

Kalolo Fiaui, 37, appeared in Auckland District Court today via videolink from his cell at Waikeria Prison, from where he allegedly tried escape in March.

Fiaui is far from his medal winning days - he won a bronze medal for New Zealand at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada

He appeared in court today for the 11th time facing six charges - two relating to the attempted prison escape and four historic charges the court had decided to hear concurrently.

Detective Sergeant Ross Patterson of Te Awamutu police said Fiaui kicked through the window of his cell and prison staff had seen him running around within the prison compound.

He said Fiaui did not manage to break free from the prison entirely and was recaptured in the compound.

Charges related to the alleged attempted escape included wilful damage to the window and a charge of trying to escape from custody.

He did not enter a plea today.

Fiaui also faced four other charges unrelated to his prison break attempt - one of possessing a cannabis plant, common assault, assault with a blunt instrument and sexual violation.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a cannabis plant and was convicted. He pleaded not guilty to the three other charges in court today.

Fiaui had appeared in court before Judge Allan Roberts twice in 2010.

In February 2010 he pleaded guilty to injuring a man with intent when he was carrying out a community service sentence at Pukekura Raceway in 1999.

He was found guilty to attacking a man and kicking him in the head with his work boots while the victim lay on the ground.

He was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

He reappeared before Judge Roberts for an excess breath alcohol charge for a reading of 572 micrograms later that year.

Fiaui had already been in prison after being sentenced in the Wellington District Court for an assault on a woman. He was given credit for his early guilty plea and making peace with his victim.

Fiaui will reappear in court in May.

- APNZ

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