I'm the victim of nightclub attack: Bird



Katelyn Catanzariti | The Age | July 6, 2009

Former NRL star Greg Bird, facing charges he assaulted two sisters at a Sydney nightclub, says he's the real victim of the attack.

The former league international claims he was sober when set upon by the two women while trying to escort a mate's drunk girlfriend from the club.

The sisters say Bird left one of them bleeding and shaking after hitting her in the head with a glass drink bottle at Fusions nightclub at Cronulla in January 2008.

The former Cronulla Shark, who now plays in France, is facing five charges of assault over the incident which left Victoria Shannon with a bleeding ear.

Ms Shannon's sister Sarah Shannon told Sutherland Local Court her sibling was in tears and soaking wet after being attacked near the bar shortly after arriving at the club.

"Victoria's face was dripping wet, an earring was missing out of her ear, she looked distressed and she was shaking," Ms Shannon told the court on Monday.

She said Bird looked angry and "red in the face" and was being restrained by another man until bouncers arrived.

Then she and her sister were thrown out, Ms Shannon told the court.

She told police she was pushed to the ground when she tried to confront Bird in the street after he was also ejected from the club.

But she contradicted her statement several times under cross-examination.

"Did you jump on his back?" Bird's lawyer Patrick Conaghan asked.

"No," was her response.

"Did you lose your shoe when you jumped on his back?" he asked.

"Yes I did," she said.

"How did you lose your shoe?" he pressed.

"When I grabbed his back," she said, before later correcting herself to say "when he pushed me over".

Mr Conaghan also accused Ms Shannon of making additions to her evidence after talking to her sister.

She explained several omissions in her police statement - including an encounter with Bird earlier in the evening - by saying she didn't realise how "specific" she had to be.

In a brief opening address, Mr Conaghan had told the court a sober Bird had been helping a friend's drunk girlfriend out of the nightclub when the two women set upon him.

"(His friend's girlfriend) came into contact with Victoria Shannon who took issue to being struck and abused the girlfriend," Mr Conaghan said.

"Mr Bird said words to the effect of 'chill out, just relax - she's drunk, she's going'.

"Ms Shannon replied 'you're nothing but a f***wit footballer'."

Mr Bird retorted, making some comments about Ms Shannon's tattoos at which point the woman and her sister attacked the stocky five-eighth, he said.

Mr Conaghan played the court CCTV footage of the incident inside the club in which he said Bird could clearly be seen backing away from two women attacking him.

"You and your sister took to Mr Bird, didn't you? Punching him, slapping him, scratching him?" Mr Conaghan put to Ms Shannon, who denied the allegation.

The hearing continues before Magistrate Jayeanne Carney.

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