Losi Filipo's victims' mothers outraged he was let off

Losi Filipo
Losi Filipo

Newshub can reveal this morning the team of people who helped an up and coming Wellington rugby player escape a serious assault conviction.

Losi Filipo was discharged without conviction for an attack that seriously injured four people.

He had four key supporters vouching for him.

Player agent Warren Alcock's affidavit said Mr Filipo, who is now playing for the Wellington Lions, had won a provincial contract straight out of school and a conviction would affect his career.

Wellington Rugby CEO Steve Rogers wrote a letter outlining the dire consequences if a rugby player employed by them was convicted.

Mr Filipo was also backed by Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy and Petone Rugby Football Club's Darren Larson. 

The mother of one of Mr Filipo's victims is outraged he was discharged without conviction.

Wellington Lions player Losi Filipo attacked two women and two men in central Wellington last year. One of his victims, Greg Morgan, was left unable to work for eight months.

Mr Morgan's mother Kim says her son will live with the injuries for the rest of his life.

"The severity of the concussion could have long-term effects. He could easily have the early onset of Alzheimer's, and that kind of thing. This is huge. This isn't just a minor punch."

The judge in the case said a conviction would hamper Mr Filipo's rugby career.

Karen Odell, the mother of another of Mr Filipo's victims, Kelsey Odell, says her daughter is lucky to be alive after being punched in the face.

Ms Odell says Mr Filipo's crime was too severe to go unpunished.

"The horrific state of how they were left - they were left for dead," she says. "Goodness knows what if the police hadn't intervened - I don't think our children would be alive today."

Mr Filipo was charged with assault with intent to injure, two counts of male assaults female and injuries with intent to injure.

The judge said conventional sentencing would demand a starting point of at least one-and-a-half years' imprisonment.

But he opted to give Filipo a chance to fulfil his potential instead, saying: "I have to ask myself are the courts in the business of destroying people's career prospects?"

Mr Filipo's club said he was "genuinely remorseful" and were working with him to ensure he doesn't "make the same mistakes again".

A protest against his discharge has been organised for Friday evening in Wellington.