Former All Black's sentencing delayed

By Katie Holland of The Daily Post -
Former All Black Keith Robinson appeared for sentencing at the Rotorua District Court today on an assault charge. Photo / Stephen Parker
Former All Black Keith Robinson appeared for sentencing at the Rotorua District Court today on an assault charge. Photo / Stephen Parker

The sentencing of former All Black Keith Robinson for assault has been put off for a day after police documents revealed inconsistent accounts of what happened.

Robinson, 36, appeared in Rotorua District Court today for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of injuring with intent to injure. The charge relates to an assault on December 9 outside the Palace Hotel in Te Aroha.

Witnesses reported the 1.97m, 116kg former lock had been part of a group of about 50 men on a "man-cave'' tour of several properties around Te Aroha, when he became involved in a verbal altercation with a man at the hotel.

The man, a Te Aroha local, was said to be about 1.65m tall and about 50 years old. A witness said Robinson pushed the man and punched him in the face. He was also accused of throwing full bottles at the man.

Robinson pleaded guilty to the charge in the Hamilton District Court on December 20 and was to have been sentenced in Hamilton yesterday.

However, that was moved to Rotorua today as his Rotorua-based lawyer Moana Dorset was unavailable yesterday.

In court today Judge James Weir said there was a divergence between the police summary of facts and what was contained in other police disclosure documents, including the notebook of the police officer who attended the scene.

"How can I sentence him today based on that summary of facts? I can't can I because it's clearly incorrect,'' Judge Weir said.

He said the victim's two victim impact statements also differed from what was recorded in the notebooks, including the victim at the time being recorded as saying he didn't want to talk about it or make a complaint and that he had "got what he deserved''. The video footage also appeared to differ from the summary of facts, the judge said.

Ms Dorset said a statement from a witness at the scene had described the victim as being "mouthy and lippy'' and "annoying all day''. She submitted there was some dispute as to the extent of injuries suffered by the victim.

Ms Dorset told the court Robinson had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, which was before the police summary of facts was completed.

She said she had not received some of the other documents until today and agreed with the judge they were inconsistent with the summary. Robinson was keen for the matter to be dealt with as soon as possible, she said.

Judge Weir ordered the police and Ms Dorset to sort out the discrepancies and agree on a summary of facts by tomorrow when Robinson will re-appear in the Rotorua District Court for sentencing.

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