clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Report: Man involved in death of City Kickboxing fighter Fau Vake sentenced to home detention, Dan Hooker reacts

New, 75 comments
Israel Adesanya (middle left), Dan Hooker (middle), Fau Vake (middle right), and teammates
@danhangman, Instagram

One of the four men involved in the fatal assault of City Kickboxing fighter Fau Vake has received sentencing.

According to the NZ Herald, Ofa Folau, 29, has been sentenced to six months of home detention after pleading guilty to two charges of assault with intent to injure this past June in New Zealand. Both charges resulted in six-month sentences that will be served concurrently.

Folau and three others attacked brothers Fau and Ika Vake in Auckland’s central business district in the early morning hours of May 16. Fau Vake died of his injuries nine days later. The tragedy drew an outpouring of support from Vake’s teammates, including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker, and Kai Kara-France.

Hooker was in attendance at Folau’s sentencing on Monday at High Court in Auckland and he spoke to the media afterward to express his disgust with the outcome.

“To be part of an attack in which a man’s life was taken and for you to not serve time in prison is an absolute joke in my opinion,” Hooker said. “A man is dead. He’s got a daughter, he’s got a family.”

In court, Folau was said to have chased Ika Vake into the alcove of a shop, then struck him twice in the head with his fist. He then struck Fau Vake three times in the head while Fau was being held by one of the other attackers.

The court could not definitively rule that Folau was responsible for the injuries that led to Fau’s death, a verdict that left Hooker infuriated.

“That was not a fight,” Hooker said. “That was an attack. Four attacked two Vake brothers who did nothing aggressive ... were backing away the entire time, trying to escape.

“It’s not fair, you can’t tell me that’s fair and that’s justice, that’s not justice.”

“Of course [Folau was] part of it,” Hooker added. “Four attacked two, how are you not an aggravating factor?”

Hooker called the sentence “an absolute joke” and called for reform in New Zealand’s sentencing laws.

Folau’s legal team cited alcohol abuse as playing a part in Folau’s involvement and noted that he is actively seeking treatment. Justice Michael Robinson did not acknowledge “being drunk” as an excuse for Folau’s actions.

The other men still awaiting sentencing are Siofilisi Paongo, Semisie Pomale, and a fourth man who has name suppression. Name suppression in New Zealand can be granted in sexual cases to protect the victim, for children under the age of 17 who are complainants or witnesses, where specifically provided for in a law, or for defendants and persons connected to a case (i.e. witnesses, victims) at the discretion of the court.

Pomale and Paongo have pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault. The unnamed defendant is pleading not guilty to manslaughter.

Hooker also commented on the sentencing via Twitter:

“Home detention,” Hooker wrote. “For MURDER.”