NRL star charged in fiancee assault
‘It’s not the first time he’s been in a bother’
NRL star Dylan Walker has been charged with bashing his fiancee, amid reports she was seen cowering in the street.
Former Miss Universe Australia finalist Alexandra Ivkovic was allegedly assaulted outside their home in Dee Why, on Sydney’s northern beaches, on Wednesday.
Yesterday Ms Ivkovic, 24, who suffered minor cuts to her shoulder, leg and feet, had left their three-bedroom home on Prescott Ave to stay with her parents nearby.
She had been treated on the roadside by paramedics following the alleged assault.
Walker, 24, was charged with common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm. The Sea Eagles player was released on conditional bail and is due to face Manly Local Court on Tuesday, when the court will also hear an application for an apprehended violence order which police have lodged on Ms Ivkovic’s behalf.
Manly chief executive Lyall Gorman said the incident was “extraordinarily disap- pointing” for Sea Eagles fans but it was too early to decide Walker’s future. Mr Gorman said he “did not have all the facts” and was unable to shed light on the footballer’s future. He said he had spoken to the NRL’s Integrity Unit. Although a process existed for players to go through “the full legal process” before sanctions were imposed, action could be taken earlier if the evidence was “strong and clear”, he said. “I haven’t been able to speak to Dylan personally,” Mr Gorman said. “I have spoken to his partner … twice last night and twice this morning and (we’re) trying to make sure we look after her welfare and that of her family. She’s in good care with her mum and dad.
“It is a matter before the courts so it’s also too early to make full judgment.”
Walker, who played four Tests for the Kangaroos in the 2014 Four Nations series, came under the spotlight two years ago when he was fined $10,000 by the club after he punched a hole in his apartment front door, fracturing his hand and missing a month of football.
“It’s not the first time he’s been in trouble. And it gets highlighted more in our game because the profile (of rugby league) is so high,” Mr Gorman said. “It’s not the first time he’s been in a bother ... so clearly there might be some anger issues or other welfare issues that Dylan really needs to take the time to address.”
Domestic Violence NSW chief executive Moo Baulch said the allegations levelled against Walker set a bad example to young NRL fans.
“High-profile sporting personalities and others in the spotlight need to be held to a higher level of account than the average person,” she said. “They hold a position that is of influence to young people particularly … I know the NRL clubs have done quite a lot of training around working to support victims.”
Manly coach Des Hasler drives Dylan Walker from the police station after his arrest and (inset) a social media photo of Walker, his partner and child. Main picture: Nine News