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Rugby player Api Ratuniyarawa jailed for sexually assaulting three teenagers

09 Jan 2024 3 minute read
London Irish’s Api Ratuniyarawa catches the ball during the Gallagher Premiership match. Mike Egerton/PA Images

Top rugby player Api Ratuniyarawa has been jailed for nearly three years after admitting sexually assaulting three teenagers in a Cardiff bar days before he was due to play for the Barbarians.

The 37-year-old Fiji international had been in Cardiff ahead of the game against Wales last autumn when he attacked the three young women inside the VIP area of the city centre Revolution bar.

Drunk

Cardiff Crown Court heard Ratuniyarawa went to the bar on three consecutive nights with his teammates and on each occasion while drunk assaulted a victim.

Heath Edwards, prosecuting, told the court: “On November 4 the Barbarians played Wales at the Principality Stadium.

“The defendant had been selected to play for the Barbarians and together with the rest of his teammates had attended Cardiff in the week before the game to attend media commitments and training for the fixture.

“The defendant appears to have spent many of his nights socialising in Cardiff in advance of the game.

“The defendant has repeatedly attended the Revolution bar on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights of the week in run-up to the fixture.

“On each of those occasions, of those visits, he sexually assaulted a different lady in the VIP area of the bar.”

Guilty

At a previous hearing Ratuniyarawa pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by penetration and one charge of sexual assault.

Ratuniyarawa, of The Orchard, Kislingbury, Northamptonshire, denied two further charges of sexual assault relating to one of the three women and those charges were ordered to lie on file.

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, The Recorder of Cardiff, jailed Ratuniyarawa for two years and 10 months.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years and given a three-year restraining order against one of his victims.

Passing sentence, the judge said: “I bear in mind the proposed starting points and ranges take into account the inevitable trauma of such offences.

“All the offences are aggravated because you were under the influence of alcohol and I bear in mind physical injury was caused as well as the psychological injury that was caused on all three occasions.

“For all three offences I note you stopped only because others intervened.

“On the other hand you are a man with no previous convictions and you are of positive good character and I accept that the remorse and shame you feel is genuine and I bear in mind the steps you have taken to address the cause of this behaviour.”

The father-of-four, who has also played for Northampton Saints and in France, has been without a club since Premiership club London Irish went into receivership in the summer, the court has previously heard.

He was hoping his appearance for the Barbarians invitational side would lead to winning a new playing contract but has since been forced to apply for benefits.


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hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Will he be allowed to stay here after his sentence is completed ? Better still could he be sent to Fiji to do the time ? .

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