A former Northland rugby representative has been sentenced to community detention for a one-punch assault that left a man with a fractured skull.

Jason Hammond, 43, pleaded guilty in the Whangārei District Court to one charge of injuring by unlawful act and was sentenced to five months' community detention.

He was also ordered to pay $3000 reparation.

Hammond was initially charged with injuring with intent to injure which was replaced with injuring by unlawful act.


The police summary of facts stated Hammond was invited as the guest speaker to an event hosted by Kamo Rugby Club in conjunction with the Lions tour on June 4, 2017.

The victim, Bradley Kneebone, was also at the event with friends and had been consuming alcohol throughout that day.

He had been annoying various people throughout that afternoon by his intoxicated behaviour.

About 7.30pm, Hammond was introduced to him while the former was preparing to leave, having consumed a couple of alcoholic drinks.

Hammond became annoyed by Kneebone's behaviour and invited him outside to sort it out.

Kneebone agreed and both went outside when Hammond asked: "Do you want a go mate".

Kneebone attempted to diffuse the situation, put both of his hands out in front and gestured to him that he didn't want to engage in a physical confrontation.

Hammond threw a punch that struck Kneebone in the head, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on a wooden pole.

He was unconscious for a few minutes and suffered a fractured skull.

In explanation, Hammond told police: "He went to head-butt me and I gave him one punch and didn't hit him very hard as I knew he was drunk."