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Police apply to appeal in Filipo case

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/09/2016

Police have filed an application for leave to appeal against a district court decision to give former Wellington rugby player Losi Filipo a discharge without conviction for assault.

A Crown Law Office spokesperson says the Solicitor-General has reviewed the matter and approval was given to police to file the application on a question of law.

The application has been filed in the High Court at Wellington.

Filipo, 18, pleaded guilty to an early morning assault on four people, including two women, last October, when he was still at school.

He escaped conviction when he appeared in Wellington District Court last month, with Judge Bruce Davidson taking into account the impact on his rugby career.

The case came to light this week when the victims publicly questioned why Filipo's promising sporting future should have been a factor at sentencing.

The public and media backlash led to Filipo withdrawing from the Wellington squad on Tuesday and to the winger and the union mutually agreeing to terminate his contract.

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