A Sydney man who says he was assaulted by former Kiwis international Russell Packer has closed down a social media account after making disparaging comments regarding what the league international can expect in prison.
Enoka Time reportedly made the postings on Facebook yesterday soon after Packer was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to an assault charge.
The 22-year-old made standard prison-style references to what Packer can look forward to while serving time for an incident that left Time unconscious and with facial injuries.
Father-of-two Packer spent his first night incarcerated last night after a bail application was refused pending an appeal of his sentence on February 11.
Time, who was punched and then stomped on the head when he fell to the ground in Sydney's CBD during an altercation with Packer in late November, welcomed the judgement and then predictably copped abuse.
"Lol haha have a good Monday people" is a sanitised version of what Time posted on his Facebook page. It attracted 12 likes and 16 comments before the account was disabled.
However, a screen shot of the post was uploaded to twitter, drawing outrage from Packer's supporters.
"No wonder why Russell Packer knocked you out," tweeted Michael Luke.
Knights coach Wayne Bennett supplied a supportive letter on Packer's behalf at yesterday's hearing while football general manager Warren Smiles confirmed Newcastle would continue to support "Russell through the process and his family, his two young children."
The club said there would be no further comment until the appeal process had concluded, after which they would make a final decision on whether or not to terminate Packer's lucrative contract - a policy that angered some fans via the club's Facebook page.
''The club acknowledge Packer pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Monday, but also acknowledge the legal process remains ongoing," a statement read.
''The club does not condone Packer's behaviour, however there is an obligation to ensure the welfare of him and his young family.
''Packer relocated his family from New Zealand to Newcastle and they are without a support network.
"Russell acted independent [sic] of the club, our players, our staff, on the night of the incident.
"Russell has acted inappropriately, no-one is arguing that fact, however we as a club still believe we have a duty of care to Russell and his family.
"Once the legal process is concluded, we will make a decision and discuss that with Russell before making it public."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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