New charges laid over church dance stabbing involving Manly star Fainu

A second person has been charged over his alleged role in a brawl that resulted in Manly star Manase Fainu being charged with the stabbing of a man at a Morman church dance.

Jona Faingaa was charged with affray after being arrested by appointment at Liverpool Police Station on Thursday night. The charging of Faingaa, known as “Big Buck”, could have ramifications for Fainu after the Sea Eagles star became the latest player suspended under the NRL’s ‘no fault’ stand-down policy.

Fainu has pleaded not guilty to wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, affray and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company over the incident at a church dance in Wattle Grove, a suburb he has been banned from visiting while on bail.

It is alleged a brawl erupted outside the church after a man identified only as "Big Buck" hit another attendee with a baton. It is alleged Fainu then stabbed a 24-year-old man in the back, who required treatment by NSW Ambulance paramedics and was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Fainu was freed from custody after the Supreme Court granted his application to be kept under house arrest on Tuesday. Justice Stephen Rothman imposed a number of strict conditions that included Fainu surrendering his passport, reporting to police daily, providing a $10,000 surety and not leaving the house without his parents for any reason than to train, seek medical attention for his injured shoulder or confer with his legal team.

During a bail application, the Crown stated that three witnesses identified Fainu as the stabber, although his barrister, Richard Pontello QC, told the court the identification was an issue given it was an “all-in brawl between two groups in the dark”.

The court heard that, despite recently undergoing shoulder surgery, Fainu scaled a fence to retrieve his sling after the stabbing.

“As close to murder as you can get,” Rothman said.

The criminal case is next set down for mention on December 16.

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