The rugby league world can be cruel sometimes, and for young Panthers player Jake Galvin, he has learnt his lesson the hard way – with the Penrith Panthers making the decision to sack the young man from the club despite having a year left on his contract, after he was convicted of assault from an incident on the Gold Coast back in 2010.
It was back in 2011 when Arthur Taylor, 77, took up a job as a pizza delivery driver to gain some additional funds and make ends meet, when he was ambushed and robbed by Galvin and former Wests Tigers junior Issac Hekenui – with the pair convicted of assault following their hearing at Southport District Court this week.
Both Galvin and Hekenui were former Keebra Park High students, with the pair attacking Mr Taylor during his delivery whislt in his car, just for the $50 worth of pizza he was delivering, as part of his job.
The experience was traumatic for Mr Taylor, who now longer holds the job as he fears for his life – but what was even scarier for the 77-year old, was that on the way to the hospital, he suffered a heart attack that nearly cost him his life.
“Next thing I
knew I felt a horrendous bang – it was as if I'd hit a brick wall,” he said.
“I woke up 15 minutes later feeling nauseous and realised my phone, my cash, my watch were all there, but the pizza box was gone.”
“It shook me rigid,” he said.
“For $51.80 of pizza they could have killed me.”
Both Galvin, 18, and Hekenui, 19, pleaded guilty to robbery in company with personal violence.
Galvin told Police that Hekenui was complaining about having no money for food, so, in turn, he wanted to “find someone to rob” – with that leading to the assault on Mr Taylor, before the pair took the pizza back to their house to watch the footy.
It has not been a good couple of years for Hekenui, who pleaded guilty to two other violent robberies in 2011 – admitting that he bashed a taxi driver last July, as well as beating a 16-year old girl at Varsity Lakes, also last July.
Hekenui received the heavier sentence of the pair, given three five-year sentences, to be served concurrently – whereas Galvin received a 12-month sentence, wholly suspended for 2 years.
The Panthers themselves made the immediate decision to dismiss Galvin, who is a talented player, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.