Guildford victim was 'punched by accident'

By Matthew Theunissen

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Troubled Crusaders and Hawke's Bay Magpies wing Zac Guildford allegedly punched the wrong man at a party earlier this month, the victim's father says.

Guildford has withdrawn indefinitely from the Crusaders for this year's Super Rugby season following the incident at a party at a Christchurch house on January 12.

However, the Hawke's Bay union chief executive officer Mike Bishop has said the union had not had any issues with Guildford in the six seasons he'd been contracted to play for the Magpies.

It can be revealed that the victim was Ryan Kerr, son of Kaiapoi harness racing trainer Paul Kerr.

Mr Kerr said it was a case of mistaken identity, but he was not sure who Guildford had intended to punch.

"It was someone who was at that party, that's all I can say.

"It's part of life; sometimes you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time and that was the end result unfortunately."

Only one punch was thrown, which left Ryan with a black eye.

"There was no melee, there was no fracas or fight or anything like that. When it happened Zac realised that he had hit the wrong person etcetera and that was the end of it.

"Zac got hold of Ryan the next day and he apologised profusely to him and was very sincere in his apology and Ryan accepted that and was happy for it all to stop right there."

Mr Kerr said he decided to speak to media in order to set the record straight about what had happened and to put an end to rumours, such as that it was a fight over a gambling debt.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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