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Ex-All Blacks scrum-half Byron Kelleher guilty of domestic violence

By Rugby365
Ex-All Blacks scrum-half Byron Kelleher arrives for his trial in Paris on Monday (Photo by Mehdi Fedouach/AFP via Getty Images)

Byron Kelleher, the former All Blacks and Toulouse scrum-half, was found guilty of domestic violence by a Paris court on Monday.

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Kelleher received a suspended six-month prison sentence for domestic violence against his former girlfriend when he returned to France to see their son.

Kelleher, 47, must also pay a fine of €1,000 as well as €800 in compensation to his former girlfriend, according to the AFP newswire report published on rugby365.com.

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The court found that in June 2023, under the influence of alcohol, Kelleher attacked the mother of their son and hit her in the face and body. She told the court that Kelleher dragged her down a corridor, pulling her hair.

“I don’t recognise the facts,” said Kelleher. “It’s not true.” He also denied that he was drunk and said he does not have “a problem with alcohol”.

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“I drink like everyone else drinks,” he said. On the night of the crime, he said he had “had a few glasses of rose” with a friend. He said his wife attacked him and he only defended himself by grabbing her wrists. “She broke my tooth,” he said.

The woman, who filed a complaint more than a month after the incident, said that she “saw herself dying”. “He scares me,” she said.

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Kelleher, who won 57 New Zealand caps, spent four seasons playing for Toulouse in France. He was famed for his physical style, often preferring to run rather than pass. Kelleher had already had a run-in with the police in 2009 following a brawl in Toulouse after a collision while driving under the influence of alcohol.

He was also briefly taken into police custody in October 2013 for “drunk driving” in Bordeaux. In 2017, he was fined 200 euros for damage and domestic violence committed in 2016 with another woman.

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