24 Jul 2015

Kiwis star Kenny-Dowall admitted to hospital

12:05 pm on 24 July 2015

Shaun Kenny-Dowall's National Rugby League season could be all over following his admission to hospital amid concerns over his mental wellbeing.

Kenny-Dowall wasn't present in Waverley Local Court on Thursday when domestic violence-based allegations against him were first heard.

The Daily Telegraph reported his absence came after Kenny-Dowall was admitted to hospital following a mental health assessment, which was reportedly a joint decision made by his Sydney Roosters NRL club and his family.

Kenny-Dowall was due to appear on 10 domestic violence charges against his former partner Jessica Peris, including allegations he assaulted and stalked her.

He was scheduled to face Waverley Local Court on Thursday, where it is understood he would plead not guilty to all 10 charges.

The Kiwis international is sitting out the Sydney Roosters' round 20 match against Wests Tigers, and probably next week's match against Canterbury.

After that just five rounds remain until the end of the NRL regular season, and the Roosters coach Trent Robinson says he doesn't know when the 27-year-old will next take the field.

Robinson stressed the Roosters had not stood down Kenny-Dowall after he was arrested and charged last weekend with a number of alleged offences in relation to his former girlfriend.

"He is in a bit of a dark place. He's not in a good enough state to get out there and play."

The Roosters move to leave Kenny-Dowall out of the side to play the Warriors was a "welfare decision" the club said was made in conjunction with the NRL.

Shaun Kenny Dowall has reportedly been admitted to hospital.

Shaun Kenny Dowall has reportedly been admitted to hospital. Photo: Photosport

His lawyer Chris Watson did not enter a plea on his behalf and told the court he had not received instructions from his client because he was in hospital.

Outside of court Watson said he could not confirm statements by the Roosters that Dowall would plead not guilty.

"I saw that in the media but I am not sure what the source is," he said. "He is in hospital as an inpatient, I don't have any details. It is serious, he is not well."

Watson said he only spoken briefly to Dowall about the case who is at a Wesley Mission Hospital.

"I have not discussed the case with him yet," he said.

It was unclear if Dowall would be out of hospital to attend the next court appearance.

"I didn't get a crystal ball with my law degree. I'm not in a position to speak to my client about the matter so I can't usefully add anything at all," Watson said.

The matter was adjourned until August the 6th.

The decision for Kenny-Dowall to seek medical help was made as a precaution because of the club's concerns about for his wellbeing.

The 27-year-old has been given time off by the Roosters and wasn't considered for selection for Friday night's clash against the Wests Tigers.

He was also rested from last Sunday's 24-0 win over the Warriors and is expected to sit out two more weeks of NRL action.

Speaking on Sterlo On The Couch on Fox Sports on Wednesday night, Roosters coach Trent Robinson described Kenny-Dowall as "being in a dark place''.

While he was not asked specifically about Kenny-Dowall being admitted to hospital, Robinson said: "I've had many chats with Shaun (over the past few weeks).

"It's a tough period for him at the moment. He's in a bit of a dark place.

"He's not in a good enough state to get out there and play."

His team-mates, including co-captain Jake Friend, said it was important Kenny-Dowall put health before football.

"I've sent him a message, and he's doing it pretty tough,'' Friend said.

"He knows we're all supporting him, he's having time to himself to get his head right, and hopefully in the next few weeks he'll be back around the office and into the footy again.

"We're hoping Shaun is back into training and playing as soon as possible, but his frame of mind and his health is first and foremost, and footy doesn't compete with that.''

The Roosters' move to leave Kenny-Dowall out of the side to play the Warriors was a "welfare decision" the club said was made in conjunction with the NRL.

Karen Willis, executive officer of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, said players charged with serious offences, particularly assaults against women, should be immediately stood down by the NRL and the clubs.

Kenny-Dowall's father John Dowall said his son was "1000 percent" innocent of the domestic violence allegations levelled against him.

Dowall, a Paralympic gold medallist, took to social media to protest his son's innocence.

"He is 1000% innocent of all the charges that have been put before him... I will stand by him every step of the way for (how)ever long it takes until his name character and integrity has been restored," his Facebook post read.

"No stone will not be turned over in defending him and the allegations that he has wrongly been accused of, I can't begin to tell you all how determined I am to see justice served here and his and my family's integrity restored.

"I'm extremely confident that one day Shaun will be able to have his day in a court of law and begin to restore what should never been taken away from him - his pride, his spirit and his integrity."

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