Wellington, May 7 (ANI): One of the two men accused of attacking New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder outside a bar in Christchurch, has pleaded guilty to a charge of assault.
The 20-year-old man, who continues to have name suppression, was convicted on a charge of assault and remanded to another hearing on June 5, and his uncle, who is charged with injuring with reckless disregard for safety and assault, has elected trial, Stuff.co.nz reports.
According to the accused's lawyer Jonathan Eaton, the alleged attack occurred after drinks had been shared between his client and Ryder, who had allegedly left without repaying a round of drinks, adding that this had sparked a verbal exchange and ultimately the alleged assault.
Successfully arguing that his client's right to a fair trial involved issues of identification, Eaton criticised the media's inaccurate reporting of the case, adding that the press exaggerated reports of a hate crime against Ryder, violent and repeated assault, and grievous injuries.
According to Eaton, the fight was over in a few moments, and involved only a single punch and a kick, which caused Ryder to fall to the ground and hit his head resulting in a severe concussion, adding that the reason Ryder had lung issues during the course of his treatment was because he had swallowed vomit.
Stating that the CCTV footage did not give any definitive answer as to who did what, Eaton said that he had complained to the solicitor-general about the media's decision to publish the accused's names before they appeared in court. (ANI)