Manase Fainu, a former up-and-coming NRL star, has been found guilty of stabbing a youth leader and has been sentenced to at least four years and three months in prison.
This comes after an incident in 2019 where Fainu was involved in a violent clash outside of a Mormon church dance, where he stabbed Faamanu Levi at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sydney.
The brawl, which involved Fainu, Levi, and a group of both men’s friends, resulted in Levi suffering a punctured lung and internal bleeding, as well as a deep facial cut.
The jury took mere hours to find Fainu guilty of one count of wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, a crime with a maximum penalty of 25 years.
However, Judge Nannette Williams sentenced the 24-year-old to eight years in prison, with a non-parole period of four years and three months.
At the time of the incident, Fainu was playing hooker for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, and was considered one of the NRL’s rising stars, with Manly’s then-coach Des Hasler telling the court that he “was destined for greatness.”
Fainu’s lawyer Paul McGirr said that the “wheels are in motion” for an appeal, but that they would wait until he was fully sentenced to launch proceedings in the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Considering the time served, Fainu is first eligible for release in October 2026.