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Samoan RL prop KO'd schoolboy


Former Rugby League prop punched schoolboy unconscious behind pub

A UK court has heard how a former Rugby League player punched a schoolboy unconscious in a sustained attack behind a pub last December.

Former St Helen’s prop Vila Matautia (48) broke the nose of the 15-year-old who he believed was bullying his son – report the Liverpool Echo.

The Samoan international appeared before Liverpool Crown Court where he is charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH).

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The prosecution outlined the incident – which occurred on 4.35pm, December 4, 2017 – to the judge.

Matautia made his way to the Golden Lion pub in Church Road in Rainford, where the alleged victim and a group friends had gathered.

Matautia then approached the group and was asked by the victim “are you alright?”. The former Super League and Challenge Cup winner didn’t respond and then punched the boy to the ground.

He then repeatedly punched the schoolboy, who was in a semi-conscious state on the ground. The prosecution alleges that the 48-year-old then told the victim “you’re a bully’ and warned him if continued to bully his son he would ‘cut’ him.

His defence claim Matautia confronted the group in question and was then threatened with a knife, which he hit out of the teenager’s hand. He then punched the boy once on the face, in self-defence.

The court heard the former prop with an address at Laurel Road, St Helens, had received a caution for battery in 2002.

The Liverpool Echo report that defence barrister said his client had led “a rather exemplary life” was “not a man who has spent his life getting into trouble or threatening people” and “there must have been something which sparked this off”.

The judge said while the injuries were unpleasant they were at the less severe end of the scale.

A Goodyear indication had been requested by the barrister in the case which allowed Matautia to plead guilty without a trial needing to take place.

The judge adjourned sentencing until July 19 and remanded Matautia on unconditional bail.

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Former Rugby League prop punched schoolboy unconscious behind pub