A formal warning for assault is the only consequence handed down by Police at the conclusion of their investigation into the fight at the Raiders league club grounds in Stanmore Bay.
The fight took place during a game between the Raiders and Mt Wellington’s premier teams on June 30. Fifteen Raiders club members were injured to the point where medical treatment was required.
Initially, two men aged 27 and 26 were arrested in relation to the matter. However, Orewa Police’s acting response manager Sergeant Nicholas Herd says Police were unable to proceed with prosecution “due to a lack of cooperation from some of the parties involved”. As a result, the charges laid by the Orewa Tactical Crime unit were withdrawn.
One man pleaded guilty and received a formal warning for common assault.
While the club considers the separate Auckland Rugby League (ARL) judicial findings and penalties unfair (HM August 1), Raiders chair Karen Gibbons says the club is satisfied with the Police investigation.
She says Raiders members were the only ones injured and requiring medical care on the day, but there was insufficient evidence to prove who was responsible.
“Our members could not identify who hit them as some of them were king hit from behind and lost consciousness,” Karen says. “Without formal identification, we understand that no charges can be laid.
No Raiders members were arrested for the incident and the club thanks Police for the support and communication they provided throughout the investigation.”
Raiders and Mt Wellington also attended a restorative justice meeting with ARL and Police. Karen says that it went quite well, with each chair talking freely about the situation and looking at options to move forward.
She says members are still very emotional about the incident and next season, when it comes time to play Mt Wellington again, will be crunch time.
“It will be up to the Raiders Executive and Team Managements next year what decisions they will make with regards to future games against Mt Wellington. The focus of the club has always been to make a safe environment for our members.”
Sgt Herd says that if anyone wishes to speak to Police and provide any new information in relation to this matter, this will be assessed and dealt with appropriately.