Somerset

Rugby star walks free after 'unprovoked' attack on student

Alafoti Faosiliva Image copyright PA
Image caption Bath rugby star Alafoti Faosiliva earlier admitted punching a university student unconscious

An international rugby player who knocked a student unconscious in an "unprovoked" attack has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Alafoti Faosiliva, 30, who plays for Samoa and Bath, admitted assaulting Nissi Kyeremeh on 6 February.

Bath Magistrates' Court heard the university student was punched after checking on the player, who seemed upset.

Faosiliva received an eight week sentence suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay Mr Kyeremeh £1,500 in compensation.

'Lost the plot'

The court was told Faosiliva, of Mascroft Road in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, had "expressed remorse" for the assault.

Mark Haslem, representing the rugby player, said his client, who had been drinking in the SouthGate area of Bath, had "come to his senses" following the attack and tried to apologise.

"There was no premeditation. The defendant had completely lost the plot," Mr Haslem said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The 18 stone rugby play had been drinking when he launched an "unprovoked" attack on the student

After the attack Mr Kyeremeh told police: "He had no reason to behave in this way. My only action was to check on his welfare."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Kyeremeh said: "Since the incident I have suffered with dizziness, blurry vision and the inability to sleep.

"The incident has had a dramatic impact on my studies. I am unable to concentrate and unable to retain information."

Faosiliva, who joined Bath in 2013, has been suspended by the club and faces disciplinary proceedings.

Speaking outside court, Faosiliva said: "I want to apologise to my club, to my team, for what happened.

"I want to say thank you for the support."

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