Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Solicitor-General 'looking into' Filipo discharge

Kelsey Odell and Losi Filipo.
Kelsey Odell and Losi Filipo.

The Solicitor-General is "looking into" a judge's decision to issue a young rugby player a discharge without conviction for assaulting four people.

Losi Filipo, 18, was last month discharged without conviction for the 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.

Filipo's brother was also faced one charge of assault with intent to injure relating to one of the victims and was convicted, fined and sentenced to supervision. He had prior convictions.

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

Judge Bruce Davidson took Filipo's promising rugby career into account when making his decision at the Wellington District Court, sparking allegations of a "double standard".

A spokeswoman for the Solicitor-General said Crown Law was "looking into the matter".

"We weren't aware of this matter until it appeared in the media over the last 24 hours. We are now looking into the matter and will not be making any further comment about it at this time. "

Family First NZ is amongst those calling for an appeal.

National Director Bob McCroskrie said the sentence was "pathetic" and sent the wrong message to the community.

"This offender-friendly sentence sends a dangerous message and sets a dangerous precedent.

"We simply don't value the protection of victims and the safety of the public - based on the response of our justice system."

This case involved "significant violence towards both males and females", said McCroskrie.

"To be discharged without conviction is insulting and pathetic, and communicates that punishments and consequences will be determined by who you are rather than what you did.

"As a community, we are trying to say that violence is completely unacceptable - yet the sentences given by the courts are completely undermining that message."

- NZ Herald

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