Wallaby Digby Ioane avoids jail

2013-08-22 10:22

Melbourne - Australian wing Digby Ioane has avoided conviction over an assault charge in an incident at a Melbourne bar when he was in the city with the Reds in March, local media reported on Thursday.

The 28-year-old, who is undergoing rehabilitation after sustaining a shoulder injury in the first test against the British and Irish Lions in June, was involved in a scuffle over a mobile phone.

Ioane missed his first court date in June and a warrant was issued for his arrest in an unwelcome distraction for the Wallabies in the run-up to the second Lions Test.

On Thursday, though, a Melbourne court put Ioane on a diversion program and ordered him to re-appear in October to ensure he has complied with the conditions of the program, the Australian Associated Press reported.

The diversion program allows first-time offenders to acknowledge responsibility and be released without conviction.

"NOT GUILTY," Ioane said on his official twitter account. "Told you. God had my back. #blessed"

Ioane will join Stade Francais in October after signing a lucrative two-year deal with the French Top 14 club in May, a move which is likely to bring an end to his 35-cap test career.

A number of Wallabies backs have had brushes with the law in recent years, with Kurtley Beale charged with assault after a scuffle with security staff outside a Brisbane bar last year while out with Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper.

The charge against Beale was withdrawn this year when the parties settled the matter out of court.

Cooper was arrested and charged with burglary over the alleged theft of laptops from a private residence in Australia's Gold Coast in 2009. The charges were dropped the following year following mediation.


  • ChrisG29 - 2013-08-22 10:31

    No wonder England put all these guys on an island on the far side of the world.

      Jaco Grobbelaar - 2013-08-22 12:02

      Ioane is actually of Polynesian decent born in Wellington, New Zealand, and not from England.

  • Cape Maori - 2013-08-22 10:55

    Don't worry Digby, the same happened to BEES ROUX, who killed another human being!!!!

      Stephen Axtell - 2013-08-22 11:51

      Dont worry Digby, lucky you dont play for the AB's, most of the South African All Black supporters has probably spent time in jail

      Cape Maori - 2013-08-22 13:05

      @Phillip - nice try! Was that the evidence in court? No, it was not! Plea bargain, you remember? He killed another human being, period!!

      Bloues - 2013-08-22 14:53

      How do you get a plea bargain in the first place if the guy who got killed wasn't up to something fishy as well? Even the family, who went on about Bees being racist and a killer, publicly supported him in his bid to play for the Lions. I'm not saying what Bees did was right, but the fact that he got off so lightly for a death that he definitely causes means that there was more to the story than anybody is allowed to tell.

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