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Former Sharks utility Greg Bird was today found guilty in a Sydney court of reckless wounding and then lying about it afterwards.
Bird was charged last August following the 'glassing' of his girlfriend Katie Milligan in the face during an argument in their Cronulla unit. The 24-year-old footballer pleaded not guilty to assault but had earlier pleaded guilty to a public mischief offence.
In Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court, Magistrate Roger Clisdell handed down the conviction of one count of reckless wounding and one count of making a false accusation to police.
Bird, who now plays in France, had last year blamed the incident on his flatmate Brent Watson. The police alleged Bird attempted to deceive them by claiming Watson was responsible for Milligan's injuries.
The magistrate said he was satisfied Bird and Milligan had been alone in the apartment at the time of the incident, and that Bird sent numerous text messages to Mr Watson to advise him they had implicated him in the attack.
He also said he was satisfied that Milligan told a nurse at Sutherland Hospital that her flatmate was responsible and she was in fact referring to Bird, not Watson.
"The physical evidence ... when put with the lies that were told by the accused lead me to a conclusion the accused was in fact lying for the purpose of avoiding prosecution, that he was in fact exhibiting a guilty mind," Mr Clisdell said.
Bird did not react to the verdict, and his bail was continued ahead of a sentencing hearing in the same court on June 22.