NZ Breakers basketballer Te Rangi convicted

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 11:17 17/10/2014

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A Southland basketballer involved in a violent assault at a New Plymouth pub has failed to avoid a criminal conviction.

Reuben Te Rangi, 19, is one of three Southland Sharks basketballers who admitted the attack at the Crowded House bar in the CBD in the early hours of May 25.

In June Te Rangi pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with intent to injure.

Te Rangi today appeared before Judge Noel Walsh, of Christchurch, in the New Plymouth District Court for sentencing.

Defence lawyer Max Simpkins, of Rotorua, sought a discharge without conviction.

He said a criminal conviction would make it almost impossible for Te Rangi to further his career in professional basketball overseas.

Walsh accepted the violence was out of character but the nature of the prolonged attack outweighed consequences on Te Rangi's career.

Granting a discharge without conviction was not an option, he said.

''The justice system would be sending a wrong and flawed message not to discipline you, an up-and-coming sportsman for serious unprovoked street violence."

Walsh encouraged Te Rangi to rise above the ''blemish'' on his life because he had huge potential.

He sentenced Te Rangi to 160 hours community work, six months supervision and ordered him to pay $1000 emotional reparation to the victim.

Simpkins said Te Rangi was shy and not a public speaker and refused to allow him to speak to media.

''He's disappointed with the outcome but he is really sorry for what happened and he hopes to be able to repay the community in the future working with the youth.

''During the brawl Te Rangi punched two bouncers and stomped on one of them.

In August teamates Shea Ili and Leon Henry appeared in court.

Ili was sentenced to four months community detention and ordered to pay $1250 reparation while Henry had his sentencing deferred until March 2015.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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