NRL star admits lying to police about statement in Curtis Scott assault case
Melbourne Storm star Brandon Smith described the suggestion that Curtis Scott smashed furniture with a baseball bat as “ridiculous” when he appeared as a witness at his former teammate’s domestic violence hearing Thursday.
He also admitted lying to the police about signing a testimony taken after Scott’s arrest because he felt the tone was skewed against his former teammate.
The pair met while both playing for Storm in 2018, during which time they also lived with teammates Scott Drinkwater and Brodie Croft in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn.
Mr. Scott is facing allegations that during a roughly two-year relationship with aspiring athlete and social media star Tay-Leigha Clark, between 2017 and 2019, he was physically and verbally abusive towards him.
The 24-year-old faces four counts of common assault, stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear or physical harm, intentional suffocation of a person without their consent, two counts of assault resulting in actual personal injury, and intentional suffocation of a person. person recklessly.
He pleaded not guilty.
Appearing via video link, Mr. Smith told the Sydney Downing Center courthouse that he had never seen domestic violence or anything else between the two that would have worried him.
Mr. Smith called the suggestion that Mr. Scott at one point used a baseball to destroy the furniture in the house “ridiculous”.
“I would have at least done something if that had been the case,” he said. “It doesn’t seem real.”
Mr. Smith said he refused to sign a police statement because the questions he was asked were “anti-Curtis”.
He admitted he lied to the police about signing the statement because he was pressured to do so by his longtime girlfriend Savannah Syred at the time.
Mr. Smith explained that when he lived with Mr. Curtis in 2018, their two friends stayed home several times.
“Savannah is obviously on Tay’s side,” he said. “I feel like they are constantly talking and trying to get me to sign (the statement),” she said.
“I didn’t sign it because I didn’t like what was inside. I thought some of them weren’t true. I thought some of the questions were against Curtis.
In parts of the unsigned statement that were read in court, Mr. Smith admits he saw the couple argue verbally, but claims he never saw any physical escalation.
“I would say that at the beginning of their relationship they weren’t really fighting. But after a while they were fighting all the time, “the statement reads.
“I knew a lot of those arguments were that Curtis was jealous.
“They were in a long distance relationship and Curtis had a lot of trust issues.”
Mr. Smith said on one occasion that he understood that Mr. Scott had thrown his phone against the wall and smashed it during an argument with Mrs. Clark.
Police Attorney Rebecca Beecroft told the court that Mr. Smith had a reason not to testify that it would damage Mr. Curtis’s case.
“He doesn’t want to be seen as someone who goes against his teammates,” Beecroft said.
“His reputation could be damaged enough in a team environment to ‘haunt’ a teammate.”
Ms Beecroft asked Mr. Smith if, as an NRL player, his role was to be a “prominent member of the community” and to report any incidents of domestic violence.
He replied as a man who would speak no matter if Mr. Curtis “pussy girls”.
“I don’t think being an NRL player has anything to do with that, I would,” he replied.
At the start of the hearing, police claimed that in October 2018, Mr. Scott lay on top of Ms. Clark and put his hands around her throat.
He is also accused of choking her on other occasions, headbutting her and pushing her against a wall, which left her with a scratch on her arm.
The court was also told that on one occasion Mr. Curtis said to Ms. Clark on the phone: “I’ll kill you, f ** k.”
He is also accused of deliberately driving his car into a tree following a breakup in his relationship.
The former Raiders and Storm center was supposed to sign a deal with the Parramatta Eels this year, but the deal was blocked after he was arrested in January while playing golf in Barden Ridge in southern Sydney.
The court also heard Scott’s older brother Lewis on Thursday, who agreed that a conviction would likely end his brother’s playing career.
Lewis, who is six years older, took a stand on an alleged accident in a Sydney taxi after a party for his brother’s 21st birthday on October 12, 2021.
A group of people, including the two brothers and Ms. Clark, went on a cruise from Cronulla to Watsons Bay, the court heard.
Lewis Scott denied that Curtis hit him on the drive home, after which Ms. Clark told him that Curtis had been “just as violent” towards him.
Ms. Beecroft insisted on Lewis on the details of the night, including how much alcohol he had consumed and whether it could affect his memory.
“I had a few drinks. I wasn’t drunk, ”Lewis Scott said.
“Your brother’s 21st birthday. Did you take a cruise from Cronulla and then to the Watsons Bay Hotel and only had a few drinks? I’m telling you you were drunk, ”Beecroft said.
“No,” he replied.
The hearing continues.