Newcastle centre Tautau Moga has pleaded guilty after being charged for assaulting a taxi driver on Boxing Day last year, as reported by the Newcastle Herald.
Police facts given to the court showed the 25-year-old with another man on King Street at about 10pm, where he was refused entry into an establishment.
The two men proceeded to enter the back of a taxi cab outside the King Street Hotel, before Tautau leaned to the driver saying: “Are you dumb?” whilst slapping him.
The driver responded: “What’s happening brother?”. Tautau then ignored him, slapped the driver a second time asking the same: “Are you dumb?”
Police then found both men at a McDonalds on King Street soon after.
The man who was with the Knights player provided his licence, but it was said in the court that Tautau produced a Visa card along with a fake date of birth.
After becoming hostile with Police, he was arrested and taken to Newcaste Police station.
Moga came in contact with the taxi driver and apologised for his actions following the incident.
“It is something that he deeply regrets and doesn’t want this matter to define him,” Moga’s lawyer Mark Evans told the court.
Moga received three different character references, which were given to the court testifying the players decent character.
Moga, who was seen as a role model among young people, was studying to be a youth worker at his local church.
The court announced that although assault was within the lower range findings, the driver of the taxi was a vulnerable victim, causing the hearing to find Moga guilty.
“When people have too much to drink they sometimes do stupid things, as you did,” she said.
“You want to be a role model, this is not the way to go about it,” she said.
Moga was placed on a 6 month conditional release order, and is expected to face a hefty fine from the Knights following the club’s new behaviour policy.