Wednesday, 23 Jun 2021

Mongrel Mob member arrested over alleged assault of 19-year-old in Christchurch

A 33-year-old man has been arrested over an alleged assault in Christchurch that left a promising rugby player with serious head injuries.

The incident happened on Oxford Terrace on January 31.

A police spokesperson said the man, a patched Mongrel Mob member, has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and will appear in the Hastings District Court on Friday.

He was arrested in Hastings on Thursday.

“The victim in this assault has made progress with his recovery, however he still faces serious health issues due to the injuries sustained,” the spokesperson said.

The victim, 19-year-old Leni Taufateau, attended St Thomas of Canterbury as part of a programme that sees two students brought over from Samoa or Tonga.

His former principal, Steve Hart, described him as very kind, gentle and quiet.

Taufateau was a young man who was going in the right direction having earned a place in the Canterbury Under-19 rugby squad, he said.

Police would still like to hear from anyone who has information about the incident.

Anyone who can help with information is encouraged to contact Police on 105 quoting file number 210131/5776.

Information can also be passed on anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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