Soper’s son hurt in fall, not assault

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS - — Melissa Nightin­gale

A fall, not an assault, was re­spon­si­ble for in­juries to broad­caster Barry Soper’s son, sev­eral months af­ter his other son was stabbed on a night out in cen­tral Welling­ton.

Hugh Soper, 21, fell down a steep bank while walk­ing on a track near Zealan­dia in Welling­ton, po­lice said.

Barry Soper said he had spo­ken to po­lice at the week­end, and they told him his son fall­ing down a bank was a pos­si­bil­ity, but they were keep­ing their minds open.

“If that did hap­pen, of course we’re all very thank­ful. The prob­lem is that he can’t re­mem­ber any­thing, he re­mem­bers walk­ing home through the bush and next thing he re­mem­bered was the po­lice lights, so every­one as­sumed that he had been at­tacked.”

Soper said Hugh, whom he hoped would be dis­charged from hos­pi­tal yes­ter­day, had a frac­tured skull and “gen­uinely can’t re­mem­ber any­thing”.

Hugh was also left with a brain bleed, a bro­ken eye-socket and pos­si­bly a bro­ken col­lar­bone and rib.

Soper said his son orig­i­nally be­lieved he was as­saulted be­cause his phone was gone. It was later found not far from where he had been.

A po­lice spokes­woman said: “In­quiries have es­tab­lished his in­juries were sus­tained as a re­sult of a fall down a steep bank while walk­ing home.”

His brother Henry Soper, 23, was stabbed in the early hours of July 28 af­ter a con­fronta­tion with a stranger out­side a bar in Courte­nay Place.

Jon Gary Ed­wards, 37, yes­ter­day ap­peared in Welling­ton Dis­trict Court and pleaded not guilty to wound­ing with in­tent to in­jure. He was re­manded in cus­tody un­til De­cem­ber 7 for a case re­view.

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