Lodge faces jail, end of NRL career

The mother of Matthew Lodge has spoken of his problems, as the former Wests Tigers’ forward faces four years in jail and the end of his NRL career after being charged with a string of offences in New York.

Lodge, who is holidaying in the United States, has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, assault and menacing.

He faces jail time in New York for allegedly stalking two women, assaulting a man and damaging property.

The 20-year-old has been sacked by the Tigers over the incident.

Lodge’s mother, who declined to be named, said she had yet to speak to her son after the incident.

“I have no idea what’s happened but I’m concerned for his welfare,” she told the Nine Network.

“Matthew has a lot of problems. But he’s a good person; he is a good person deep down.

“I don’t know what’s happened over there. Something’s happened and I’m not sure of the details.”

Lodge was already facing several domestic violence-related allegations in NSW and was stood down in August by the Tigers.

The Junior Kangaroo was arrested at 4.52am (local time) on Friday at an apartment block on Manhattan’s upper-west side.

He allegedly told the victims: “This is the night you die”.

“Matthew Lodge followed two women home,” NYPD officer Arlene Muniz told AAP.

“The suspect made statements to the women while they were going into the building.

“The suspect also made his way into the building and then in the man’s apartment who let the women in.

“The suspect assaulted the male and damaged the apartment.”

It is the criminal mischief charge, a felony, that could put him in jail for a maximum four years.

“Felony is a felony,” officer Muniz said.

“You get a maximum for whatever the charge is for that felony.”

The criminal mischief charge relates to intentionally damaging someone’s property.

Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe announced late on Sunday night that the club had terminated Lodge’s playing contract.

“The club is incredibly disappointed to learn that Matthew Lodge has been charged by police while overseas on holiday,” Pascoe said in a statement.

“We have since made the decision to terminate Lodge’s playing contract with Wests Tigers effective immediately.

“This type of behaviour does not fit with the culture we are building at the club, nor is it to the behavioural standards that we accept.”

But the NRL club said it would continue to offer welfare and counselling options to Lodge.

Lodge was granted strict bail conditions after facing court in August for six offences including stalking, intimidation and assault. The matter last received mention on October 14 in Blacktown Local Court.

He was fined $10,000 by the Tigers following an incident in Kings Cross in January and stood down from training for a week.

In 2014, he was suspended for writing the word c*** on his wrist strapping while playing for NSW in an Under-20s fixture.

* National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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