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The former girlfriend of Ben Roberts-Smith has told a court that she met with police at least five times before deciding against formalising allegations the war hero punched her in a Canberra hotel.

The woman, known as Person 17, took the stand at the Federal Court for a second day during the ongoing defamation trial between Mr Roberts-Smith and Nine Newspapers.

Person 17 has accused Mr Roberts-Smith of punching her face in their room at Hotel Realm in Canberra in March 2018 because he was angry at her for flirting with other men and drunkenly falling down stairs at an event at Parliament House.

Ben Roberts-Smith arrives at Federal Court.
Ben Roberts-Smith arrives at Federal Court. (Nick Moir)

The woman told the Federal Court she went to Queensland Police on two occasions to report the alleged assault before deciding not to make a formal complaint against Mr Roberts-Smith.

“I told them I’d been having an affair with a high-profile military person… but they wouldn’t do anything because I wouldn’t tell them who the person was,” she told the court.

After the woman sought out journalist Nick Mackenzie, one of three reporters from Nine Newspapers being sued, Person 17 said it led to meetings with the Australian Federal Police, ACT detectives and police investigating accusations of war crimes in Afghanistan.

“I said to them, ‘I don’t really want to make a formal complaint… I am scared if this all becomes public, he’ll think this is my doing and will seek payback,'” Person 17 told the court.

Under cross-examination, Person 17 was accused of lying and grilled about continuing the affair after the alleged assault.

She explained she was simultaneously “in love with” and “afraid” of Mr Roberts-Smith.

Charges have never been laid against the Victoria Cross recipient, who denies the allegations.

Source: 9News

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