Robert Lui deserved harsher sentence

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    The Australian Rugby League Commission says that the suspensions of Robert Lui and Isaac Gordon send a strong message that aggression against women will not be tolerated. I disagree.

    For Lui, this is his second offence.

    A life ban – not suspension for the rest of 2012 – should have been his fate. He’s had two chances and he shouldn’t get a third.

    Lui pleaded guilty to his offence – there is no innocence in his case.

    The NRL has not said this is his last chance, but when reading between the lines this has to be the case. There can be no mistake.

    The NRL’s message on violence against women could have been a lot stronger, there’s no doubt about it.

    Gordon’s case has largely flown under the radar, but this was his first offence and a lesser charge than that aimed at Lui.

    The Cronulla player pleaded guilty has copped a nine-match ban.

    In recent years the NRL’s stance on violence against women has been mixed.

    You look at the case of Tevita Latu, the former Cronulla player who punched a women in the face in 2006.

    This was his first offence. His contract was terminated by the Sharks, and he was de-registered by the NRL.

    Latu moved to play in the UK in 2007 and is now playing for the Auckland Vulcans, the Warriors feeder club, in the New South Wales Cup.

    He has not been sighted in the NRL since.

    There is also the case of Rooster Anthony Watts, who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, went to court and had the charge dropped.

    Watts was cut by the Roosters and is now playing in the UK.

    Where is the consistency?

    Where is the clear message?

    Is it one rule for one player, and another rule for another?

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • April 13th 2012 @ 5:10am
      Spencer said | April 13th 2012 @ 5:10am | ! Report

      Since when has the NRL, or any sporting body, become judge, jury, and executioner? The courts have dealt with the issue. I wonder Cutback, what would happen if your employer fired you/suspended you for being found guilty of a similar offence?

      • April 13th 2012 @ 11:28am
        B.A Sports said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        If it is in Lui’s or anyone’s employment contract states that your employment can be terminated if you are involved and found guilty of a criminal offence, then an employer can terminate your employment/contract.

        In my Employment contract it states that i can be dissmissed if (amongst other things), i “engage in conduct that causes serious risk to the health and safety of a person”.

        I have been pretty clear in my position previously, so i won’t harp on it. I think the NRL have been soft, their punishment is pathetic (if i am not mistaken both didn’t just atttack women in their homes, they attacked women carrying unborn children in the safety of their own homes) and both should have been deregistered and they can go out and get a real job like the rest of us.

        • April 13th 2012 @ 3:52pm
          mushi said | April 13th 2012 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

          Agreed – I can and would be fired for this. Hell once this hit the papers I’d get the “There’s two letters on the desk. One says we accept your resignation, the other outlines your termination. Please choose wisely”

    • Roar Guru

      April 13th 2012 @ 6:35am
      peeeko said | April 13th 2012 @ 6:35am | ! Report

      with regards to Watts i think the roosters had a lot of problems with him and wanted him out of the club as he had a bad influence
      on others at the club especially Carney.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:25am
      Gareth said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      I can’t believe David Garnsey has been in the papers today whinging about how Lui and Gordon should have been summoned to present their case before punishment was handed down. What were they going to say – “Bitch had it coming!”? “I beat her for her own good, because I love her”?

      After the absolute dribble from Ben Teo and his fancy criminal lawyer I’m beginning to think players should have the opportunity to “defend” themselves revoked altogether.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:31am
      Tigranes said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      Whats the alternative? I do agree with Spencer, its not the job of the NRL to pass

      Lui is lucky he is not in jail, but look at the wider circumstances. The fact that his victim is still with him and they have a child together should not be ignored, although Im not sure why she is still with him. Im not sure about Lui’s educational background, but in all likelihood, RL is his lifeblood and sole source of income. If Lui was banned for life, he would not be able to make a living and his young family would suffer, continuing a vicious cycle.

      Also Im not sure about this being Lui’s second offence, as far as Im aware he hasnt been convicted before. The previous allegation was acquitted.

      I would say Lui has been punished immensly already. His name has been tarnished people will always associate him with being a wife beater, his earnings have suffered.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 11:31am
        Ken said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Yes there’s a legal problem with saying second offence. He was never convicted and therefore, legally, this is his first offence. Of course that’s a pretty naive attitude generally speaking, although I have no specific knowledge of what Lui did or didn’t do, to suggest that if you weren’t legally convicted then it never happened. His partner’s medical records suggest that something happened

        Even if you go by the ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ train of thought though you still have a logic problem categorising this as a second offence considering this is the third incident (with multiple charges each time) of domestic violence that he’s been to charged over. If you weren’t using a ‘legal conviction’ definition of offences, then this is a trend, and if it’s a trend you can’t help but wonder how many other times it’s happened where the police weren’t involved. Yes, I know that these previous incidents are unproven in court but it seems naive to ignore it completely.

        There’s also the level of offence, obviously I don’t condone any violence towards women but there’s a difference between a push and repeating kicking her in the head which is what he has plead guilty to. I also don’t find any positive our of hearing that they are still together, personally I’m of the view that this guy has had chances to turn things around. Again I don’t claim to know any specifics about Lui and his actions besides what’s in the paper, but maybe losing his job and his partner might have been the sort of reality check this bloke needs to turn it around. As it is he’s basically lost nothing bar a single season of NRL while still on the payroll of a professional football club.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:47am
      James Payten said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      This was Lui’s first offence found proved. He was sentenced as a first offender, following a plea of guilty, to a fine and good behaviour bond.

      The first set of charges were not dropped by police as has been reported elsewhere. These charges were heard by a magistrate and after hearing the evidence, including from his partner, all charges were dismissed.

      The NRL cannot treat him as a second offender on the basis of allegations thrown out of court.

      But it’s worth thinking about that first set of charges. In domestic violence cases, partners often don’t front at court to give evidence on the day of hearing, or if they do, they say they can’t remember what happened or deny it, leaving the court no choice but to toss the charges. Lui’s partner did give evidence that day, and while I don’t know what she said, it might have been the case that her memory was not so reliable that day.

      This last set, Lui pleaded guilty, meaning the court was not left with the task of determining guilt or innocence.

      On the next occasion this might occur to him or anyone in the else in the NRL, how do you think a life ban will play on the mind of the victim involved? Do you think she is going to want her man earning a couple of hundred grand or going back to regular wages?

      Do you think she will want to carry the can for ending his professional career? Of course it’s not her fault, but that’s what she’ll be thinking?

      Think she’ll bother reporting it to the cops? Or if she does, think she’ll turn up to give evidence? If she does come to court, think her memory of events will be all there or that it might desert her?

      No player facing a life ban is going to plead guilty. What would be the point?

      Without convictions, the NRL can’t take any action at all. Is that the result you prefer?

      • April 13th 2012 @ 3:55pm
        mushi said | April 13th 2012 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

        Just look at the Bird case where even the judge said no one’s story added up but with the “victim” not sying anything what can they do?

      • April 14th 2012 @ 7:54pm
        Big john said | April 14th 2012 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

        I think that in relation to the alleged 2010 incident, the girlfriend refused to give any evidence against Lui, and the matter was dismissed by the Magistrate, probably after the Prosecution withdrew the charges, because they knew that there would be zero chance of a result, with the main witness being unwilling to co-operate.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 10:20am
      Bolo said | April 13th 2012 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      We have clear cut penalty gradings for on field infringements which can make or break a nrl teams finals chances.

      Why can’t we have a clear cut penalty gradings system for off field infringements on individual players.

      Not clear cut you say? Why not follow the courts rulings, they have clear cut gradings, sentences and monetary fine amounts. Then we won’t have bigger RL names getting off lighter than players hardly known.

      Latu – who? de-registered entirely for one punch on a random outside a nightclub,
      Lui – up and coming player – a season for repeatedly kicking GF on ground
      Greg Bird – NSW Rep, didn’t get as much as Latu and Lui and please please correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t he GLASS his girlfriend???

      • April 13th 2012 @ 12:11pm
        Gareth said | April 13th 2012 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

        According to a lot of people, glassing your girlfriend and then trying to blame your mate makes you “tough” and/or “built for origin”.

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2012 @ 1:24pm
          The Barry said | April 13th 2012 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          That’s absolute, utter rubbish Gareth.

          Show me one person, let alone “a lot” who has ever said / written that Bird is made for Origin or tough BECAUSE he glassed his girlfriend…

          The most childish, inane twisting of words I’ve read in a long time.

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