- Jan 30, 2008
The man who streaked during the England-Argentina Rugby World Cup game could show a cheeky side-step to special laws set up to prevent such disruptions.
The 23-year-old Kenyan-born man, wearing nothing but face paint, dashed onto the field at Otago Stadium on Saturday and was seen by millions of television viewers.
He was quickly apprehended and charged under the Major Events Management Act, which says a pitch invasion can incur up to three months in prison and a maximum fine of $5000.
The act was introduced especially to prevent such disruptions during the tournament and tournament organisers and police were warning such pitch invaders would feel the full weight of the law.
However, the man has now been offered diversion as a first-time offender and may avoid conviction.
Dunedin police area commander, Inspector Dave Campbell, said the man met the criteria for diversion and police could not make exceptions, even if there was a perception a point would be made.
Police had to be expecting significant disorder – such as for the Undie 500 event – to seek authority to waive the diversion option, and that had not been anticipated for Saturday's match, Campbell said.
He would not go into why the man ran naked onto the ground, as the case is still before the court and the man has to meet certain criteria for diversion to be completed.
"I know there's a public perception that diversion is a soft option, but that's not necessarily the case."
Reports suggest the man may have to pay $500 to charity, which may have been his eventual penalty, had he been charged, Campbell said.
Source: Tough RWC laws exposed by streaker | NATIONAL News