Young league stars tried to kill unborn baby

By BRIDGET CARTER

A rising rugby league star and two team mates have been sent to jail for trying to kill his unborn baby.

Shaun Williams-Metcalf, 16, was sentenced to 18 months' prison yesterday after he took his friends Geoffrey Ruaporo and Kyle Donovan to a park to repeatedly kick his 15-year-old former girlfriend in the stomach to procure a miscarriage.

Ruaporo was sentenced to 18 months in jail and Donovan, who tried to stop the attack, 15 months.

The teenagers are members of the New Zealand Warriors Development Squad and were selected last year for the New Zealand Rugby League under-16s side to tour Queensland.

Yesterday, the Warriors said the trio's contracts had been terminated.

They appeared in the Manukau District Court yesterday for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to procuring an abortion, aggravated robbery and injuring with intent to injure.

The offenders, all aged 16 at the time, have been granted leave to apply for home detention.

Judge Andrew Becroft called the offending planned, callous and extremely serious.

The mother of the child, who has name suppression, had a brief relationship with Williams-Metcalf.

She was five months pregnant when Williams-Metcalf and Ruaporo made plans for the attempted miscarriage last August 8.

That evening, the defendants went to House Park, Mangere, where Williams-Metcalf had arranged to meet the victim to discuss the unwanted pregnancy.

When she arrived, a disguised Williams-Metcalf unsuccessfully tried to open her car door.

She drove away then later returned after contacting him by cellphone.

At that stage, either Ruaporo, who was also in disguise, or Williams-Metcalf, used a rock to smash the driver's door. They dragged her from the car, punched her around the head and kicked her in the stomach.

Donovan took her cellphone before trying to stop the attack. The trio ran away.

The victim, left lying bleeding in the dark, called for help and was treated at Middlemore Hospital.

Prosecutor Kevin Glubb said it was good luck rather than good management that the victim's 5-month-old daughter was healthy.

The court was told that since the attack she was reluctant to go out or be left alone.

The youths had glowing references, including those from New Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson and the youth's manager Frank Endacott.

"If you are the young men the references say you are, I hope you confront the prison sentence with courage," Judge Becroft said.

Outside court the victim's mother said the baby was "gorgeous".

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