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Sports journalist denies assaulting and choking woman

"I didn't strike her, I came into contact with her," Paul Kent maintained throughout questioning.

"I didn't strike her, I came into contact with her," Paul Kent maintained throughout questioning. Photo: AAP

A sports journalist has denied in a terse cross-examination that he choked a woman he was in an off and on relationship with.

Sidelined Daily Telegraph rugby league writer and Fox Sports presenter Paul Kent has pleaded not guilty to assault and choking charges stemming from an alleged altercation at a home in Sydney’s inner west in May.

“I didn’t strike her, I came into contact with her,” Kent maintained throughout questioning from the prosecution about a fight over a phone that ended in the woman alleging he had choked and struck her after they grappled and fell to the ground.

Lucy Kennedy, 33, had come to his house on May 12 following an argument the day before.

Kent, 54, said they had been dating on and off since February 2021 after meeting in November 2020, but said the relationship was “basically finished”.

“We were – it was just – the end of any relationship, trouble after trouble, incident after incident,” he told Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.

Kent said Ms Kennedy had entered his home without his knowledge and confronted him, then took his phone.

He acknowledged the two were involved in a physical altercation but denied choking or hitting her.

Ms Kennedy said in a police interview played to the court on Monday that Kent had “done this before”.

Kent recounted a conversation with a police officer after being arrested, saying the officer told him to answer “no” to any questions relating to the incident, including whether he wanted to be interviewed and whether he had assaulted Ms Kennedy.

“‘If you say no to all three questions, they will probably let you go because her case is weak,'” Kent said he was told by the officer who had turned his body camera off.

“I said, ‘Thank you’,” he told the court.

The court also heard evidence from a physiotherapist who had treated Ms Kennedy after the alleged assault, noting yellow bruising and swelling on her neck and a limited range of movement that he concluded was consistent with trauma to the neck.

Kent was stood down from his positions at the Daily Telegraph and Fox Sports while the court proceedings are underway and remains on bail.

The hearing continues before Magistrate Daniel Reiss.

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– AAP

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