Two police officers charged over incident at NSW pub involving NRL star Tom Starling

Two serving police officers have been charged following an investigation into an incident involving NRL star Tom Starling.

The Canberra Raiders hooker and his brothers Jackson, 27, and Josh, 22, were attending a friend’s 21st birthday party at Shady Palms hotel at Avoca Beach on December 5, 2020, when a fight broke out.

An investigation by the Professional Standards Command has lead to two police officers being charged over the incident.

A 49-year-old male senior constable from the Northern region has been charged with common assault, and a 37-year-old male sergeant – attached to a specialist command – has been charged with two counts of common assault.

Canberra Raiders player Tom Starling after an incident with police on the Central Coast. Picture: SuppliedSource: Supplied
Starling was with his family at a Central Coast pub celebrating a 21st birthday. Picture: SuppliedSource: Supplied

The employment status of both officers is under review and they will appear at Gosford Local Court on March 7.

It comes three years after the 25-year-old hooker was charged with assaulting and hindering police, enduring a gruelling 11-day hearing along with his two brothers Jackson, 27, and Josh, 22, in December 2022.

The court heard the fight started when security guard Khan Morris told the Starling brothers’ mother Joanne to sit down because of Covid restrictions.

He allegedly called Mrs Starling “a f..king slut” prompting Josh to start yelling at him.

Tom Starling (right) was found not guilty of the charges. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David SwiftSource: News Corp Australia

Mr Morris strenuously denies the allegation.

Shocking CCTV footage was played in court which showed the NRL player being repeatedly punched in the face.

Photographs of Starling in the days after the violent incident show his face scratched up with bloodied gashes.

Tom and Jackson were found not guilty of resisting police in the execution of their duty and Josh not guilty of two counts of assaulting police.

Josh was found guilty of resisting police and assaulting security guard Mr Morris.

He was placed on two 18-month good behaviour bonds.

Following a hearing of the NSW Police Professional Standards Command, Mr Morris was charged with the alleged assault of the Starling’s father David causing him actual bodily harm.

Mr Morris has pleaded not guilty and will face a hearing later this year.

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