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Heartland Rugby Player Jailed For Eight Years

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 4 NZPA - A provincial rugby representative convicted of beating and raping his wife has been jailed for eight years.

Tokaukamea (Toka) Liku, 32, a flanker who played for Poverty Bay in last year's Heartland Championship, was sentenced yesterday in Palmerston North District Court.

Crown prosecutor Evan McCaughan said Liku savagely beat his wife after a match last August, before raping her at their home, the Manawatu Standard reported.

Liku had name suppression until sentencing, but the suppression had been strongly opposed by his wife.

Mr McCaughan said the incident, which was well known among the Gisborne community, left the woman physically disfigured.

"The victim here has been subjected to a sustained beating that has left her unrecognisable to her own son."

Liku, a Tongan, admitted in a pre-sentence report that he had regularly abused his wife during their marriage of over two years.

Defence lawyer Andru Isac said the attack was "horrific, degrading and violent", and "simply unforgivable".

He presented the wife and son an apology on behalf of Liku.

Judge Les Atkins said Liku had verbally abused the victim while having sex with her .

She ended up running from the house and police later found Liku asleep with blood still smeared on him.

NZPA WGT co nb

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