NRL player's trial told of church knifing

·2-min read

"He's got a knife," someone yelled during a brawl outside a Mormon church event in Sydney before a man was stabbed in the back, a jury has been told.

During the trial of Manly hooker Manase Fainu on Wednesday, Lesila Masiasomua described the moment that Faamanu Levi was knifed in the back at Wattle Grove late at night on October 25, 2019.

"Oh, he's got a knife, he's got a knife," she said she heard a male say during the brawl.

Fainu, 24, is accused of wounding Mr Levi with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He is on trial at Parramatta District Court having pleaded not guilty.

After Mr Levi was stabbed from behind, he was rushed to hospital suffering from internal bleeding and a collapsed lung.

The incident occurred at a charity function organised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After a volunteer security guard ushered Fainu and his friends off the dance floor and outside, they later allegedly returned to the car park to start the brawl.

In the car park, the group approached Ms Masiasomua and her friends, asking Charlie Toilalo who was among them if he wanted to start a fight.

"Do you want to have a go at it now?" one of the men allegedly said.

"Not here, because we're on church grounds," Mr Toilalo replied.

The group then started throwing punches, the jury heard.

Ms Masiasomua said she did not see who ultimately stabbed Mr Levi.

She also admitted she could not recognise anyone in the group who started the fight outside except that they seemed to be Tongans, but noted a "big guy" with a beard and another man wearing a dark blue sling.

Another witness Tony Quach previously told the court he had tied Fainu to the crime because of the sling. Fainu had previously undergone shoulder surgery and had his arm in a sling that evening, the jury heard.

Defence barrister Margaret Cunneen SC suggested Ms Masiasomua had not actually seen the sling, but had heard about it from others either asking her about it directly or writing about it on social media.

When speaking to police on the night of the incident, Ms Masiasomua did not mention the sling at all, the jury heard.

The trial in front of Judge Nanette Williams continues.

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