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Jerry Collins fined, freed from Japanese jail

JO MOIR
Last updated 16:35 28/03/2013
Jerry Collins
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
OUT OF THE CLINK: Jerry Collins has been released from custody by Japanese authorities after paying a fine.

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A relationship former All Black Jerry Collins was having with a woman in Japan led to a Brazilian gang threatening and stalking him.

Collins’ agent, Tim Castle, confirmed today the rugby star had been seeing a woman that angered members of a gang, who threatened him at his home and followed him to a restaurant, before his arrest at a department store.

Collins was released from prison yesterday after he agreed to pay a fine.

He was arrested on March 17 after he had gone into a Hamamatsu department store looking for protection from gang members who had intimidated and threatened him at his home earlier in the day.

A Japanese neighbour of Collins concerned about the men stalking the house contacted police.

Collins fled with two knives strapped to him and headed to a restaurant looking for safety.

Castle said he was targeted at the restaurant so ran to the department store where he knew he would draw attention.

The gang, who reportedly dislike foreigners, had been following and threatening Collins for weeks before his arrest, Castle said.

''The behaviour of these men meant he had notified his rugby club, Yamaha, to say he was concerned about his safety and security.''

''I'm providing this information to deter speculations about organised crime and other misbehaviour gaining any currency.''

Castle said he would not comment on where Collins is or when he would return to New Zealand.

He also wouldn't comment on whether Collins was still in a relationship with the woman at the centre of the threats.

Collins has no intentions to play rugby in Japan in the immediate future, but hasn't ruled out returning at some point.

''He's an international rugby player and he's not unwelcome in Japan or undesirable by any means,'' Castle said.

''I can't confirm when he will be back in New Zealand, but it remains his home and he will be back and forth from New Zealand from wherever he ends up playing rugby.''

Castle said Collins wants to return to normality and his ''private life''.

''This has been a huge ordeal for him and his family and he wants to get back to normality and the gym.''

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- The Dominion Post

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