Woman who says Ben Roberts-Smith punched her sustained an injury in a fall earlier on same night, defamation trial hears

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A pistillate who accuses Ben Roberts-Smith of punching her successful the look during a late-night statement successful a Canberra edifice sustained a ample haematoma connected her caput falling down the stairs astatine Parliament House earlier successful the night, a national tribunal defamation proceedings has heard.

The woman, with whom Roberts-Smith was having an matter during 2017 and 2018, has antecedently fixed grounds a achromatic oculus she sustained that nighttime was the effect of Roberts-Smith punching her, knocking her backwards connected to a bed.

Roberts-Smith maintains the wounded was sustained erstwhile she fell down a formation of stairs earlier successful the evening, and said the battle allegation was a “fabrication”.

The pistillate – whose individuality has been protected by the tribunal with the pseudonym Person 17 – does not contention she fell down the stairs, but told the tribunal successful her grounds fixed successful March she was besides punched by Roberts-Smith aboriginal that night.

Roberts-Smith, a recipient of the Victoria Cross and 1 of Australia’s astir decorated soldiers, is suing the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times for defamation implicit a bid of ­reports helium alleges represent him arsenic committing warfare crimes, including murder, arsenic good arsenic an enactment of home unit against Person 17.

The newspapers are pleading a defence of truth. Roberts-Smith denies each wrongdoing.

Called by Roberts-Smith to springiness grounds successful the national tribunal Friday, a defence manufacture executive, Terry Nichols, testified helium met Person 17 astatine the extremity of a relation astatine Parliament House successful aboriginal 2018.

Nichols, a erstwhile service officer, said the pistillate was unsteady connected her feet and slurred her code arsenic she asked him if helium knew Ben Roberts-Smith.

Nichols said helium told Person 17 portion helium did not cognize Roberts-Smith, helium had recognised him astatine the event, and would find him.

As helium was calling a assistance to instrumentality Person 17 to the car parkland she attempted to descend a formation of stairs unaided and fell look first, striking her caput connected the landing, Nichols told the court. He said the autumn made a “terrible thud” and Person 17 was momentarily unconscious.

When she came round, Nichols said, “there was a precise ample haematoma connected the near broadside of her forehead supra her oculus … an contiguous effect of the fall”.

Nichols asked 2 Australian national constabulary officers, who were nearby, to put for an ambulance for her, due to the fact that of the size of the haematoma: “It was similar a ample egg, rather a important lump supra the near eyebrow … fixed it had happened truthful quickly, that’s wherefore it was of concern.”

Nichols said Person 17 assured him she was not earnestly injured: “It’s OK, I’m OK, I conscionable request to spot Ben,” Nichols testified she said.

Nichols said helium near Person 17 with the AFP officers and went to find Roberts-Smith successful the car park. He recovered Roberts-Smith and directed him backmost to Person 17. He did not spot either of them again.

In her grounds to the court, Person 17 said: “I fell down astir … 2 oregon 3 steps connected to the landing and I deed my caput arsenic I fell.”

The grounds astir the stairs is applicable to Roberts-Smith’s defamation lawsuit due to the fact that it relates to 1 of the cardinal allegations made against him: by the newspapers arsenic portion of their information defence: that idiosyncratic 17 was assaulted successful the edifice country she shared with Roberts-Smith.

Subpoenaed by the newspapers to springiness grounds successful March this year, Person 17 said Roberts-Smith was aggravated with her backmost astatine their edifice room, yelling successful her face, “What the fuck person you done”, saying she had been flirtatious with different men, and had exposed their affair.

Person 17 said she conscionable wanted to spell to furniture and that her caput hurt.

She told the tribunal Roberts-Smith responded by saying “It’s going to wounded more”, oregon “I’ll amusement you hurt”.

“And helium punched maine with his close fist connected the broadside of my look and near oculus … I ended up lying connected the bed. I conscionable laic determination inactive due to the fact that I didn’t cognize what helium was going to bash next.”

“I said ‘my caput hurts and I privation to spell to the hospital’.

“He said ‘no, you’ll beryllium fine, I’ll look aft you’.”

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Roberts-Smith was questioned connected the alleged incident astatine the Canberra edifice during his grounds earlier the tribunal past year. He denied each allegations of unit oregon threatening behaviour, saying the allegations were “completely false”.

“The full communicative is simply a fabrication,” helium told the court.

“I’ve ne'er deed a woman. I ne'er would deed a woman. And I surely ne'er deed Person 17.”

Roberts-Smith said Person 17 sustained the injuries to her look and broadside erstwhile she fell down the stairs astatine Parliament House. He said helium did not judge she needed to spell to hospital, and helium took her to the edifice country wherever helium undressed her, enactment an icepack connected her head, and enactment her to bed.

Ben Roberts-Smith’s erstwhile wife, Emma Roberts, has antecedently told the tribunal Person 17 had a achromatic oculus respective days aboriginal erstwhile she arrived unannounced astatine her household location to uncover the affair. Roberts told the tribunal Person 17 told her she had fallen down immoderate stairs astatine Parliament House. In her evidence, Person 17 said she lied astir the origin of the achromatic oculus due to the fact that she feared retribution from Ben Roberts-Smith.

“I knew that I would beryllium targeted by him,” she said.

Roberts-Smith has antecedently told the tribunal helium and his woman were separated astatine the clip helium and Person 17 began their affair. His present ex-wife told the tribunal this was not true, that they were not separated.

The defamation trial, earlier Justice Anthony Besanko, continues.