Witness says he saw NRL player stab man

·3-min read

A witness has told a jury he saw Manly hooker Manase Fainu plunge a steak knife into the back of a youth leader outside a Sydney church dance.

"Levi just screamed in pain, he was on the ground," Tony Quach testified in the NSW District Court on Thursday.

Fainu, 24, has pleaded not guilty to wounding Faamanu Levi, known as Levi, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Wattle Grove late at night on October 25, 2019.

The stabbing occurred during a brawl in the car park after an earlier fight on the dancefloor of the alcohol-free charity event organised by the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Prosecutor Emma Curran told the jury Fainu had recently undergone shoulder surgery and had his arm in a sling that evening.

His barrister Margaret Cunneen SC has disputed that Fainu was the stabber submitting the scene was pitch black, a lot of men were involved and even the victim did not know who wounded him.

Mr Quach said after leaving the dance, he and friends were near Mr Levi's car discussing plans to go to the beach the next day.

He saw four men, including a 186cm Tongan with a mullet and a man he recognised as Fainu who had a sling on his left arm.

"They walked towards us and started to offer us out, to have a one-on-one," he said.

The big guy landed the first punch on Mr Levi, before Mr Quach said he reacted by trying to push him out.

After one of their group said "he has got a knife", Mr Quach said he turned around and had a clear view of Fainu.

"He was holding a knife at a 90-degree angle."

It was a steak knife and Fainu was holding it with a clenched fist with his right arm bent.

"He looked angry."

He said the lights were on in the car park and he could clearly see the accused's face and noted he had a goatee and was wearing a cap.

"I approached him and pushed him back and told him to get out" before Fainu stumbled backwards.

"I saw the knife plunged into Levi's back," he said.

Asked by the prosecutor who had plunged the knife, he replied: "The accused".

Mr Levi was on the ground screaming in pain and bleeding.

"Every time he breathed it just flowed out a lot."

Mr Quach said it was the first fight he had ever been involved in.

Under cross-examination, he said he personally did not know the footballer but his friends had posted Instagram stories about the NRL.

"He was very famous at that time," he said.

He replied yes to Ms Cunneen when she asked if her client was so famous that the minute he saw him he knew him.

She referred him to his police statement in which he said: "I didn't know it was Nase at the time".

He replied that it was after the incident that he realised it was him, saying "he had features I recognised".

Mr Quach said he could not recall seeing any pictures of Fainu on a phone at the hospital, nor could recall telling a woman that he had "found out that Nase was the one who stabbed Levi".

He denied Ms Cunneen's suggestion that the stabbing happened at 11.30pm when the car park was pitch black after the lights had been turned off.

He said the incident happened about 10.45 and he was familiar with the lights being on a timer and being turned off around 11pm.

The trial continues on Monday.

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