Boxer Kyron Dryden’s conviction for assaulting his former girlfriend sends a clear message to the community, and people need to hear it

PROFESSIONAL boxer Kyron Dryden’s excuse for entering another man’s house and assaulting his former girlfriend, nearly two months after their relationship ended, is apparent in the short film posted on social media after the incident on September 1 last year.

The film shows Dryden and his brother in a car outside the house, and then in the bedroom, with Dryden saying: “Here’s my missus cheatin’ on me. In her house, in the f…in’ bedroom. Stupid slut.”

In other words, she deserved it.

An ugly social media campaign against Dryden’s former girlfriend Tori-Lee Hillery, who was grabbed by the throat and slammed into a mirror before being “choke-slammed” to the ground, was well underway the following day when one post decided Ms Hillery was a “slut” who needed “a good smack in the mouth”. Others were far worse.

In Newcastle Local Court on Monday Dryden and Ms Hillery gave evidence and were cross-examined before magistrate Alan Railton. Dryden denied the assault and stuck to the story about his “missus cheatin’ on” him, despite the fact the relationship had ended – on his version, on his call.

Mr Railton found the assault had occurred, and reduced the matter to a single pithy point – one person was telling the truth and the other was lying through their teeth.

It’s worth noting that Dryden pleaded guilty to breaching apprehended violence orders four times after he was charged with the assault. The orders required him not to make contact with Ms Hillery. Repeatedly breaching the orders showed Dryden not only had little or no respect for his former girlfriend, but no respect for orders backed by the NSW justice system.

Dryden is 22. After his conviction on Monday, and before he is sentenced in March, he was back on social media protesting his innocence, saying he was “unfazed and carefree about the situation”, and “sadly the truth that I know hasn’t came (sic) out yet”.

That is now the line being put forward by his supporters, on social media and elsewhere, including one of his sponsors who posted a photo of Dryden and himself with the words: “Just letting you know that “I’ve got ya back” Brother … if only everyone new (sic) the FULL story.”

That is the excuse someone like Dryden uses after he’s convicted. The justice system has failed. How, exactly, isn’t stated. As long as you stick to the line that the “full story” hasn’t been aired, you can pretend you aren’t what a court has determined you are – a convicted criminal.

Dryden doesn’t need denialists around him right now. He doesn’t need people willing to accept excuses for his criminal behaviour – when he decided he had the right to keep intruding himself into the life of a young woman after their relationship had ended, assault her, and be complicit in the subsequent vilification of her.

Dryden and his supporters need to hear this. People who blame the victims of certain crimes – domestic violence, assault or sexual assault, and whether the victims are men or women – need to hear this. No more excuses.

No matter how angry you feel at a partner or former partner, or how aggrieved, the second you take that step into violence you have crossed a line. It’s not just your partner or former partner you’re dealing with, but the laws of this country. You’ve committed a crime, and there are no excuses.

Dryden is a young man who needs support before he’s sentenced, but not the kind he appears to be getting. Like assault itself, the consequences of an assault conviction can be a shock, and devastating.

Safety Exit