MMA fighter Fau Vake attack: One man pleads guilty, three plead not guilty

One man charged in relation to the fatal attack on MMA fighter Fau Vake has pleaded guilty and his name suppression lapsed, while three others have pleaded not guilty.

Four men appeared in the High Court in Auckland for the first time today to enter pleas.

Ofa Folau has pleaded guilty to two representative charges of assault with intent to injure. He will be sentenced on August 10. He has been remanded on bail on existing terms.

A man facing a charge of manslaughter, a man accused of assault and another man facing two charges – wounding with intent to injure and injuring with intent to injure – all entered not guilty pleas through their lawyers.

A trial date has been set down for October next year.

Three of the accused were granted continued interim name suppression until next month.

A case review date has been set for August.

Fau died in hospital from injuries after an incident on Symonds St in the early hours of Sunday, May 16, upon which police upgraded one man’s charge to manslaughter.

It is alleged Vake fell after being hit from behind while he was heading home after a night out in the CBD.

Vake, 25, was mourned by hundreds last month at a funeral service at the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Tuingapapai in Favona.

His family prayed for a miracle as he lay critically ill at Auckland City Hospital for almost seven days following the attack, the Herald understands.

Vake’s partner Christina Williams described her “high school sweetheart” as an extremely loving, caring and giving person.

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya paid tribute to Vake, his City Kickboxing teammate, as well as City Kickboxing itself.

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