Roosters Told Peris Not To Go To Police Over Shaun Kenny-Dowall's Alleged Abuse, Court Hears

25/02/2016 4:55 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Fairfax: Peter Rae

SYDNEY -- The former partner of NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall has told a court room the Sydney Roosters advised her not to go to police about the player's alleged domestic abuse.

Jessica Peris, the daughter of Senator and former Olympian Nova Peris, faced hours of intense cross-examination from Kenny-Dowall's barrister Queen's Counsel Ian Temby at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.

Kenny Dowall has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges, including stalking, intimidation and assault. Peris alleges the NRL player headbutted her, squeezed her arm so tightly it left a bruise, smashed her phone, put her in a headlock and pulled her hair.

The alleged incidents occurred over an eight month period between October 2014 and June 2015.

When asked why she took three weeks to report the last incident of alleged abuse Peris told the court room it was the Sydney Roosters who said not to go to police when she reached out to the club for support.

Kenny-Dowall's lawyers argued Peris was after money following the couple's separation.

On June 30 Peris appealed to Roosters CEO Brian Canavan for support in an email, and attached letters, which where tendered in court on Thursday.

In the exchange Peris claimed she preferred to keep the alleged abuse quiet but wrote "I'm undecided as to whether or not to report this to police".

The NRL club offered to provide Peris with accomodation and use of a car for one month. Peris replied with a counter offer of six month's accomodation and six month's use of a car along with an additional income payment for one month.

In court on Thursday Peris maintained the club's rejection of the counter-offer was not why the mother-of-one went to police.

jessica peris

Jessica Peris and Federal Senator Nova Peris outside the Downing Centre.

More than 40,000 text messages were tendered in court on Wednesday -- the first day of the trial -- and more text messages on Thursday revealed intimate details of the couple's relationship where obscenities were hurled between the two.

During the cross-examination, which lasted more than four hours on Thursday, Kenny-Dowall's defence lawyers argued Peris' financial situation including debt and struggle to uphold a full-time job -- as Peris is the sole carer of her son and training for the Rio Olympics -- prompted Peris to ask the club for money over "false" allegations of abuse.

"Had you been able to get material support you wouldn't have gone to police," said QC Ian Temby on Thursday.

"No, that's not correct," said Peris on the stand.

The hearing continues.

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