Julian Savea's assault charge withdrawn

CHARGES WITHDRAWN: All Black Julian Savea.
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
CHARGES WITHDRAWN: All Black Julian Savea.

A charge against All Black Julian Savea of assaulting his partner, Dawn Rodgers, has been withdrawn by a Wellington District Court judge after he completed police diversion.

Savea, 22, was not required to be present at court. Savea completed a police programme designed to prevent reoffending.

Withdrawal of the charge means he does not gain a conviction.

In a statement Savea said: "Again I would like to apologise to them all and I would also like to thank those people who have supported them through this difficult time."

Last year, Savea was an anti-violence spokesman for Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network, an affiliate of the Social Development Ministry's "It's Not OK!" campaign.

"I would also like to apologise publicly to the people from Te Rito Wellington Family Violence Network and Its Not OK whose campaign I fronted.

"I know my actions must have embarrassed them all and I am very sorry about that.

"Finally, I would like to thank the police for the opportunity to complete their anti-violence programme Whakamana Takitini which was incredibly helpful.

"I certainly learnt a lot from the counselling I received at Taeaomanino Trust. I have taken full responsibility for my actions, I am taking every step to change my behaviour and I am now looking forward to the future without violence."

Speaking publicly in April, Savea said the "incident" involved an argument with his partner, with whom he has a daughter.

"I did some things that are wrong, and that I shouldn't have done, and I apologise for that."

The Dominion Post