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Stephen's Dudley father: Court decision 'a farce'

This wasn't your average schoolyard brawl, the father of a boy who died after being beaten following rugby training last year says.

Brent Dudley shows his frustration outside High Court. Source: 1 NEWS

Stephen Dudley 's father Brent told TVNZ's Breakfast this morning that it was a calculated, malicious attack with intent.

His 18-year-old attacker, who admitted a charge of assault with intent to injure, was discharged without conviction yesterday.

"These thugs carried on the assault even after Stephen was rendered unconscious," Mr Dudley said.

"Stephen died on that field, he was beaten to death, his heart gave out...this wasn't some act of schoolyard bullying."

And Mr Dudley believes Justice Helen Winkelmann had pre-determined how she was going to rule and didn't want to listen to what argument the Crown prosecutor wanted to present.

"We may as well not have shown up to the court yesterday. It was a farce."

Close family member Vivienne Euini is concerned about the message the court is sending. She told Breakfast the people involved had a history of aggressive behaviour, the action was premeditated and they continued to attack him when we was rendered unconscious.

"There needs to be a consequence," she said.

"We're basically saying it's OK, you can go and attack that person and nothing's going to happen."

Mr Dudley says they have no further legal options and in the eyes of the law the accused is innocent.

Stephen, 15, died on the school field and it was later established he had an undiagnosed heart condition that may have contributed to his death. Another person involved in the assault on Stephen was discharged without conviction in March.

Brent Dudley says he cannot understand a judge's decision over his son's death. Source: Breakfast


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