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Ratu Nanovo gets home detention for North Parramatta stabbing

A promising footy player and young dad who knifed three people during a wild brawl after a match in Sydney’s west has learned his punishment after the attack ended his career.

Former Fiji international Ratu Nanovo, who stabbed a Wentworthville Magpies opponent and two spectators when a brawl erupted at North Parramatta last year, has been sentenced following the attack which squandered his league career.

Nanovo, 20, who is now a father, went on the stabbing spree on the opponent and two spectators aged 16 and 22 at the carpark of North Parramatta’s Old Salesyards Reserve in August 9, 2020, after Nanovo had just finished playing for Penrith Brothers.

The incident was sparked after Nanovo’s teammate was sent off the field for a shoulder charge on the 19-year-old opponent, causing him to suffer critical injuries to his neck and body. He recovered after surgery.

Ratu Nanovo. Picture: Facebook

In July, Nanovo pleaded guilty to multiple offences after doubt emerged over whether he intended to hurt anyone during the stabbing after the game, in which he was playing for the Penrith Brothers.

The now 20-year-old Nanovo stabbed the Wentworthville Magpies opponent and spectators and was charged with three counts of wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

However, the charges were dropped in court and instead the young father pleaded guilty to two counts of the lesser charge of reckless wounding in company.

Novano’s solicitor Ihab Jamal told the Daily Telegraph in July the more serious charges were dropped following negotiations about what actually happened as his matter progressed through the courts.

Mr Jamal said doubt had emerged over whether Nanovo intended to use a knife and hurt anyone during the brawl.

“I think ultimately they just couldn’t establish that the use of the weapon had any intent with it, that’s really what it comes down to.’’
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Police on the scene of the stabbing where three men have been taken to hospital at Old Saleyards reserve in North Parramatta. Picture: Adam Yip

At Parramatta District Court on Wednesday, Judge Stephen Hanley handed Nanovo a three-year intensive correction order, including home detention for the first 12 months.

Nanovo represented Fiji, played for the 2018 Australian schoolboys team and was contracted to the Penrith under-18s but the stabbing meant he was served with a NSWRL lifetime ban from playing or attending any junior league match in the state.

Bradley Wayne Middlebrook was not charged in relation to the stabbing but was charged with affray after the brawl. He was sentenced in September when he was convicted and handed a nine-month intensive correction order and 63 hours community service.
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