Jerry Collins carrying knife in 'self-defence'
Monday 18 Mar 2013 5:32 p.m.
Former All Black Jerry Collins remains in custody in Japan tonight after being arrested for carrying a knife with a 17cm-long blade in his pocket in a department store.
As revealed on 3 News last night, the incident took place in Hamamatsu and those close to Collins now say he'd been carrying the knife because he feared for his safety.
He went to Japan after a stellar All Black career. After 48 international games for this country, top Japanese club Yamaha snapped Collins up. But tonight he's locked up.
Collins' New Zealand manager, Tim Castle, says the embassy in Japan has only just made contact with him since his client's arrest on Saturday.
"[I'm] frustrated and worried about the effect on him," says Mr Castle.
Through an interpreter, Japanese police told 3 News: "He was arrested because he didn't have any reason to possess the 17cm cooking knife he was carrying. The police and staff were alerted to him because he was holding the knife on the underground level of the department store, which is normally where food is sold."
Japanese police were unable to tell us how they were alerted to Collins and his knife. But a friend of the rugby player said there had been an incident earlier that day where Collins felt threatened and was carrying the knife for "self-defence".
In Japan, it's illegal to carry knives with blades longer than 15cm without police permission.
"I'm in negotiations with Japanese lawyers representing him [and] if it was self-defence it will help his case," says Mr Castle.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says consular assistance and support are now being offered to one of our great number eights.