A fallen Dragons star has narrowly escaped time behind bars for a violent rooftop hammer attack, however, he walked from court without a familiar figure by his side - his father and co-offender.
Talatau 'Junior' Amone, 21, and Talatau 'Senior' Amone, 47, were sentenced at Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday following a two-day hearing in October.
Junior was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, to be served in the community by way of an intensive correction order. He must also perform 300 hours of unpaid community service work.
Magistrate Gabriel Fleming said Junior's violent conduct was "appalling", however, cited his young age and absence of criminal record as reasons he was spared time behind bars.
She noted the impact his offending would have on his NRL career.
"I have accepted the co-accused, being your father, was the first instigator," the magistrate said of the incident.
"But you are 21 years of age, you have to be responsible for your own behaviour.
"I think this is a tragedy that could jeopardise your playing future.
"That is a tragedy, clearly, but it is your tragedy, not mine."
Senior was escorted into custody after he received a two-year and six-month jail term, with a non-parole period of one year.
The father-of-nine's sentence was backdated for the 12 weeks he already spent on remand, meaning he will be eligible for release in September 2024.
Magistrate Fleming pointed to a report that outlined Senior's belief that "instrumental violence is an appropriate response to threats made towards his family".
Both men must each pay fines of $1,000 and pay their share in a total of $13,481.79 compensation to the victim Jai King for damage to his vehicle.
Mr King told the court in October that he was cleaning a roof across the road from the Amones' Warrawong household on November 15, 2022 when Senior started taking pictures of his Nissan Navara parked on a nature strip.
He said Senior then approached the ute, elbowed the rearview mirror, and reached inside the windows and snapped off the indicator.
A group of people then jumped on the ute, including Junior - who was armed with a hammer - causing damage to the windscreen.
Mr King said he was chased up the roof by a "tall guy" of "Islander appearance" that he later identified as Junior.
He had nowhere to go as Junior swung the hammer at him, so he jumped onto a neighbouring roof however stepped backwards and fell from the two-storey home.
The magistrate accepted Mr King had suffered serious injuries, including two broken hands, ribs and damage to his right hip.
High-profile defence barrister John Korn argued Junior was not at the scene and it was a case of mistaken identity, with only vague descriptions of Junior provided to police.
Magistrate Fleming disagreed and said all of the descriptions given by the witnesses applied to Junior.
The Dragons confirmed after the guilty finding that Junior was stood down from "all club activities until further notice".
In a statement on Wednesday, the Dragons acknowledged the sentence and said it will now work with the NRL Integrity Unit to determine the next steps.
"An update will be provided once this process has been completed," the club said in a statement.