Charges laid after incident with Justin Marshall
BLAIR ENSOR AND CHE BAKER
Former All Black Justin Marshall was allegedly drinking inside a Queenstown strip-club before he was assaulted.
Two men have been charged over the incident near the entrance to Club 88 in Shotover St early on Friday morning.
Marshall, 40, did not suffer serious injuries and was expected to return to his role as a rugby commentator on Sky TV this weekend.
He declined to comment yesterday.
Tai Samuel Neilson, 25, labourer, and Adam David Kearns, 23, both of Christchurch, have been charged with assaulting Marshall with intent to injure.
Kearns is the son of convicted killer Helen Milner.
No further details about the incident were revealed during a brief sitting before a registrar at Queenstown District Court yesterday.
Marshall was denied name suppression. The two accused were remanded on bail to their homes in Christchurch. They were ordered not to consume alcohol or drugs, nor associate with each other or Marshall.
The case was adjourned until May 19.
Kearns later said he would fight the charge. At the time of the incident, he was in Queenstown celebrating his birthday and was unaware who Marshall was when the alleged incident took place. Kearns and Neilson had been drinking at Club 88.
Kearns claims Marshall was there also. The alleged altercation happened as they left.
"It takes two to tango. I did throw a couple of punches and so did he.
"At this stage I'll be defending it. If it's reduced to a common assault charge, I'll take it on the chin. There was no intent to it.
"I was just protecting myself, and my mate was protecting me. He [Neilson] shouldn't have even been charged whatsoever."
Kearns said he would also pursue neglect charges against police because he believed they did not get him medical attention for a cut to his head.
A police spokeswoman said yesterday that Kearns suffered a "superficial wound" before his arrest.
"The officer's assessment was that the wound was minor and did not require further medical attention, and no further assistance was requested by Mr Kearns at the time."
On Thursday before the incident, Kearns posted on Facebook: "The sculling has started 3 beers down in a minute, 6 to come over rakaia bridge yaaaaayer!!! 23 years younger lol (sic)."
On Friday he posted: "Thanks for all the birthday wishes I think I cut a bit loose..... earnt myself a free nights accommodation and a assault with intent .... Gooooood times (sic)."
Kearns' mother, Helen Milner, was jailed in December for the murder of her husband, Phillip James Nisbet, in April 2009.
Kearns is also suing her for $60,000 after she framed him for a crime he never committed.
- Fairfax Media