Teen admits assault

21:50, Feb 09 2014
Stephen Dudley
STEPHEN DUDLEY: Died after being punched at rugby training.

One of the teens accused of involvement in the death of Auckland schoolboy Stephen Dudley has pleaded guilty to a charge of assault.

He and another teenager were originally charged with the manslaughter of the 15-year-old, who died following a violent incident after a school rugby training session in June.

The pair, aged 16 and 18, appeared in the High Court at Auckland today where a two-week trial was set to begin.

The younger defendant pleaded guilty to an amended charge of assault and the trial for the co-accused was adjourned until June.

Both teens have had name suppression since charges were laid, after a judge ruled it would cause them "extreme hardship" to be named.

They were remanded on bail.

The 16-year-old will be sentenced next month when there will be further discussions over name suppression.

Justice Timothy Brewer did not enter a conviction, at the request of Lawyer Ron Mansfield, to "preserve the fullest range of sentencing options" for the teen.

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