Three police officers involved in the 2020 violent arrest of NRL star Tom Starling at a NSW central coast bar are officially under criminal investigation.
In an incident that Ricky Stuart – Starling’s NRL coach with the Canberra Raiders – labeled “appalling”, the whore, 25, was initially charged with seven offences, including assaulting an officer in the line of duty and fighting.
All of Starling’s charges were eventually dropped and on Wednesday 2GB radio host Ben Fordham revealed the three officers now face a criminal investigation from the Professional Standards Command.
The development follows Magistrate Daniel Covington who stated in February that the police officers involved in the incident were behaving beyond the call of duty.
CCTV footage showed police punching Starling in the face multiple times during the arrest, a scene Covington labeled “free for all.”
NRL star Josh Starling was left battered and bruised after confrontation with NSW police in 2020
“One more often seen in a street fight than officers on their duty,” Covington said at the time in Sydney’s Downing Center Court.
“Obviously nothing happened other than Tom himself being attacked.”
Magistrate Covington added Senior Constable Daniel Drew admitted in court that he had “no reason to hit Starling.”
Earlier this year, the court heard that the Starling brothers celebrated a friend’s 21st birthday in a pub on the night in question.
Starling and his brothers battled with the officers, but only his youngest brother – Josh Starling – was found guilty of all charges related to the incident.
The NRL star was left battered and bruised after his run-in with police, always insisting that ‘he hadn’t done anything wrong that night’.
The court heard that 21-year-old Josh Starling was arrested at the scene after allegedly shoving Khan Morris, a security guard who allegedly called his mother a “slut.”
The Raiders whore (pictured, with girlfriend Chelsea Balzan) has always maintained he did ‘nothing wrong’
On Wednesday, 2GB radio host Ben Fordham revealed that three officers involved in the incident will face a criminal investigation by the Professional Standards Command
The younger Starling was found guilty of assault against Mr. Morris and resisting police, but the two charges of assault against an officer against him were dismissed.
He was sentenced to 18 months’ parole without conviction, the ABC reported.
Starling’s lawyer, Samar Singh-Panwar, also stated in February that the possibility of a civil suit against the NSW police for their conduct remains on the table.
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that police are now investigating the conduct of some of the officers involved in the fracas.
Investigators from Professional Standards Command continue to investigate the conduct of officers who responded to an incident on the Central Coast on December 5, 2020, the spokesman said.
“As their investigation is ongoing, no further information is available.”
The trio’s mother, Joanne Starling, told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Wednesday that it had been “tough years” for the whole family.
The Raiders star’s mother (pictured, centre) said her son was almost pulled out of the NRL as police claimed he tried to grab one of their firearms during the incident
“It certainly took its toll on all of us (…) it turned our whole world upside down,” she said.
“I was there and I witnessed most of (the incident) and to see that on the front page of the news was just devastating.
“Both my husband and I have raised our three boys with respect for the police, they have never run afoul of the law.”
Joanne told Fordham that allegations that Tom had tried to seize a police firearm almost led to the NRL knocking him down.
“We know that there are police investigating the police… and I would expect these findings from the magistrate to be something that the police will take into account when they think about it further,” Mr Singh-Panwar said.
“There is a possibility of a civil suit against the NSW Police, especially given the findings His Honor has made regarding the conduct of certain police officers, as it was specifically directed against Tom Starling.”