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Prominent NRL journo’s new court bid

Written by on May 14, 2024

NRL personality Paul Kent will seek to have allegations he was involved in a street brawl dismissed due to mental health, a court has been told.

The Fox Sports presenter and columnist appeared before Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday for a bail review as he faces a single count of affray.

Police allege Mr Kent and another man became involved in a verbal argument that turned physical outside Totti’s Rozelle about 11pm on April 27.

Widely shared video from the night purported to show staff and patrons trying to hold Mr Kent back before the alleged melee spilt onto the street.

The 54-year-old’s lawyer revealed to the court on Tuesday that he would seek to have the charge dealt with under provisions of the NSW Mental Health Act.

“I will be seeking an application to have this matter dealt with under mental health and cognitive impairment,” he told magistrate Scott Nash.

“In the after hours of this alleged incident he (Kent) sought urgent counselling. He has been seeing his GP who has referred him (to) Burwood hospital.”

Under the Act, a magistrate may make an order to dismiss a person into the care of a responsible person if they are found to suffer a mental impairment.

Mr Nash agreed to a six-week adjournment for Mr Kent to receive a treatment plan from his new doctor and dismissed his bail reporting conditions.

Asked by the prosecutor if he would plead guilty to receive a discounted sentence, Mr Kent demurred, telling reporters outside court that he “had nothing to say”.

The 54-year-old has not entered any pleas and was stood down by Fox Sports the day after the alleged incident “pending an immediate investigation”.

It comes only months after Mr Kent was found not guilty of allegations he choked and assaulted his then-partner, a result he called a “vindication”.

A second 35-year-old man police allege was involved in the scuffle with Mr Kent was earlier charged with affray before being granted bail to front court on June 7.