By Logan Church, 1News Reporter, and is republished with permission.
The man who landed the fatal punch on MMA fighter Fau Vake last year has been sentenced to 2 years 9 months in prison.
Daniel Havili, 30, was sentenced this morning at the High Court in Auckland for his part in a fight between him and three others and Fau Vake and his brother Ika Vake last May on Symonds Street, in central Auckland.
Havili had previously pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and assault with intent to injure.
The court today heard that Havili threw the punch that led to Vake’s death.
“Your actions led to the death of another,” Justice Sally Fitzgerald told Havili.
“The fact you were drunk was no excuse.”
The summary of facts, released to 1NEWS, revealed the brutal moments before the punch that proved fatal for Fau Vake.
It said, during the fight, Havili swung his left fist in a hook and punched Vake squarely in the right side of his face.
He fell backwards, unable to move his feet to keep his balance or use his hands to brace himself.
The impact of Vake’s head hitting the pavement caused a fracture, amongst other injuries, to the back of his head.
The extent and progression of the bleeding resulted in unsurvivable brain damage.
He was taken to nearby Auckland City Hospital by ambulance but died nine days later.
A victim support worker read out heart-wrenching victim impact statements today prior to sentencing.
Vake’s sister said, “the hole in our hearts could never be filled.”
She described the trauma of watching her brother “fight for his life” and the pain of trying to explain what has happened to his young daughter.
“It’s the pain of trying to answer his daughter’s tough questions when she is crying and asking where her dad is.
“My brother was the heart of the family.”
She said his death had also put significant financial strain on the family.
Havili’s lawyer, Louise Freyer, said her client “apologised” for his actions.
“Mr Havili is deeply remorseful of his offending and only too aware of the grief and loss he has caused,” she said.
Another man, Siofilsi Paongo will be sentenced later this year for his part after pleading guilty to charges of assault to intent to injure and common assault.
Another man, Ofa Folau was sentenced last year to home detention for his part, while the fourth man, Semise Pomale, had denied common assault charges – that will go to trial later this year.