Former Manly dummy-half Manase Fainu has learned his fate after being found guilty of stabbing a Mormon church leader in an incident in Sydney's south-west in late 2019.
After a long wait, Fainu has been sentenced to eight years in prison, with a non-parole period of at least four years and three months according to NCA Newswire, after committing the act during a violent brawl outside a Wattle Grove church. The sentence was handed down at Parramatta District Court by Judge Nanette Williams.
His team have confirmed that they will appeal the decision.
Fainu had originally pleaded not guilty to one count of wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but a jury found him guilty after mere hours of deliberation.
With a maximum penalty of 25 years for the charge, Fainu was stood down under the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy at the end of the 2019 season and has not taken the field since. He has, however, been allowed to train and was also given a significant character reference by former Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler, claiming Fainu was ‘destined for greatness'.
While Fainu said that he left the church grounds after a confrontation prior to the violent clash, CCTV footage played during the trial showed that he had re-entered the premises by jumping a brick wall.
While Fainu claimed he had backed away from the confrontation upon hearing mention of a knife, the jury clearly believed the prosecution's version of events.
It was then that Fainu, “who was observed to have an angry look on his face, used the steak knife and plunged it into the victim,” Judge Williams recounted from witness testimony.
Fainu will now not be eligible for parole until October, 2026.