Brother of footy superstar Boyd Cordner is found NOT guilty of punching an NRL player outside a pub because he was acting in self-defence
- Dane Cordner – NRL star Boyd Cordner’s brother – was involved in pub punch-up
- Footage showed him punching footy player Jacon Saifiti in the face during brawl
- But a court found Dane Cordner was acting in self defence and he was cleared
Dane Cordner – older brother of NRL star Boyd – has been found not guilty of attacking Newcastle Knights player Jacob Saifiti outside a pub.
Magistrate Robert Stone in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday found Mr Cordner was acting in self-defence when he punched Saifiti in the face, knocking him to the ground after a heated exchange in Hamilton on December 2, 2018.
Saifiti fell awkwardly, breaking his ankle.
Dane Cordner – older brother of NRL star Boyd – has been found not guilty of attacking Newcastle Knights player Jacob Saifiti outside a pub
Mr Stone found Mr Cordner, 29, not guilty of causing reckless grievous bodily harm and also cleared him of the alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The magistrate accepted Mr Cordner wanted to walk away from Saifiti before the Knights prop was suddenly there in front of him, right in his face.
‘There was a real and significant risk Mr Saifiti could act violently,’ he said.
Mr Stone said Mr Cordner genuinely believed he had to act in the way he did and punch Saifiti because he was in fear of him.
An emotional Mr Cordner hugged his partner and legal team after the decision was handed down.
Prosecutor Rebecca Witherspoon has earlier told the court Mr Cordner’s state of mind was a ‘willingness to use force’ when he lashed out at Saifiti, a 118 kilogram, 195cm Fijian international rugby league player.
Magistrate Robert Stone in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday found Mr Cordner was acting in self-defence when he punched Saifiti in the face, knocking him to the ground after a heated exchange in Hamilton on December 2, 2018
Australian rugby rugby league captain Boyd Cordner
Ms Witherspoon said Mr Cordner was the one acting aggressively when he punched Saifiti.
But defence barrister Jack Tyler-Stott said Mr Cordner was telling Saifiti to stay away from him as the Knights player walked towards him.
‘He (Cordner) was scared. Why wouldn’t you be?’ Mr Tyler-Stott said.
‘You don’t have to wait to be hit to be acting in self-defence.’
The defence barrister claimed Mr Cordner had less than two seconds to launch a pre-emptive strike.
He said Saifiti was in ‘a state of irrationality’ on the night, acting in a way which could have jeopardised his playing career but believed he was protected by hotel security staff. One witness claimed Saifiti boasted of being untouchable.
Mr Tyler-Stott told the court it was strange there was missing CCTV footage from the night and described ‘a theme of dishonesty’ among hotel management and security staff when denying Saifiti was protected and given preferential treatment at the pub.