Man admits assaulting Justin Marshall

BLAIR ENSOR AND DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 15:41 09/06/2014
Justin Marshall
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ASSAULTED: Justin Marshall said he had been coming out of a convenience store with a steak pie when he was attacked.

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A man has admitted attacking former All Black Justin Marshall after he left a Queenstown strip club.

Tai Samuel Neilson, a 25-year-old labourer, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with intent to injure when he appeared at Christchurch District Court today.

Police allege Marshall was attacked by two men on Shotover St on April 18.

The former rugby star did not suffer serious injuries and returned to his role as a commentator for SKY TV the following weekend.

Neilson's co-accused, Adam Kearns, 23, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault with intent to injure and elected trial by jury. Kearns is the son of convicted killer Helen Milner.

At the time of the incident, he was in Queenstown celebrating his birthday. Kearns and Neilson had been drinking at Club 88.

Kearns claims Marshall was there also, and the alleged altercation occurred soon after they left.

Marshall had a lawyer, Allister Davis, present at court.

Marshall says he had been in the club earlier, but he had been leaving a convenience store with a steak pie when he was attacked.

After Neilson's guilty plea, the case was stood down so that Community Probation could make a brief report.

However after seeing the report Judge Neave decided that the case should be remanded for a full probation report and sentencing on August 20. The report will cover his suitability for a home or community detention sentence.

The sentencing session will also address the issue of Neilson's unpaid fines. Neilson remains on bail.

After reading the initial report, Judge Neave said: "Some of his comments don't reflect well on him."

He told Neilson's defence counsel Nicola Pointer: "You might get him to rethink the concluding comments in the report, Miss Pointer."

The comments were not read out in court.

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