The charges laid relate to an alleged assault occasioning grievous bodily harm on Katie Milligan; a US National who has been the girlfriend of Greg Bird for some months. The woman copping a broken eye socket and severe wounding when smashed in the face with a glass.
According to details discussed in court today, Bird drove MilliganÂ to hospital to receive medical attention – with major eye wounding and face lacerations.
Initial discussions to Police led them to believe that Bird’s room-mate, Greg Watson, was the attacker and had left the scene.
But after Police investigations, it has been learned that Mr Watson was playing golf during the period where the alleged assault took place.
Mr Watson also provided information to Police; confirming that Greg Bird had phoned him saying: “Somethingâ€™s up with Katie, there’s blood in the unit, we’ve told police it was you.”
Apparently Bird then asked Mr Watson over the phone: “How do you feel about that?”
In legal proceedings today, Acting Police Sergeant Matt Zalunardo spoke to the court; saying “Bird lied to police by alleging other people were in the apartment at the time of the incident, about 7.30am on Sunday.”
“The accused person… is trying to deceive by inferring other people were involved” Sergeant Zalunardo stated.
Police have also alleged that during the time the incident took place, Bird was heard telling Ms Milligan to “stop being a f***ing idiot”, and denied attacking her.
Bird’s legal representative Les Nicholls has questioned the police facts, concerned that the Police witness was not in court and the alleged victim hadn’t even provided a statement.
The Sharks have today stood down Greg Bird until further notice until the matter has been resolved.
Sharks boss Tony Zappia said it was now unlikely Bird would take the field again in 2008 with the representative player now expected in court on October 8.
“On behalf of the Sharks and after consultation with our chairman Barry Pierce, members of the board and coaching staff, considering the allegations being made concerning an incident said to involve Greg Bird, we will be standing Greg down for an indefinite period of time,” the statement read.
“So as to not pre-empt the legal process, I wonâ€™t be discussing any details of the incident nor matters which now have been referred to a court hearing.
“Also, the club does not want to pre-judge Greg until we have had an opportunity to meet with him, his management company and his legal counsel face to face, however we are mindful that the allegations made by police prosecution at this point in time are extremely serious.”
The NRL has thrown their weight behind the Sharks and is backing their stance on the situation.
“These are very serious allegations against the player,” NRL chief executive David Gallop said.
“At this stage the best solution for all parties is that the legal process is allowed to unfold with Greg off the field.
“We acknowledge that the club is taking the matter extremely seriously.”
Sharks fans are divided over the situation, with their team rolling nicely towards the NRL finals – the loss of Greg Bird will seriously affect their chances. Should Greg Bird be stood down in the interim period while the court decides his fate?