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    A police officer has been caught on CCTV punching NRL star Tom Starling in the face multiple times, before police laid a number of charges against him and his brothers.

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      tom starling resist arrest

      Footage Shows Police Officer Punching NRL Star

      Posted By , on May 28, 2022

      A police officer has been caught on CCTV punching NRL star Tom Starling in the face multiple times, before police laid a number of charges against him and his brothers.

      Mr Starling, along with his brothers Josh and Jackson, are facing charges of hinder police.

      Officers initially laid a number of additional charges but these were withdrawn.

      The hearing is continuing.

      Affray Charges

      The trio had been celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday prior to their arrest in December 2020. The incident involved a brawl of up to 50 people. These included police officers, the riot squad and security guards.

      The Starling brothers claimed that a security officer – Khan Morris – had called their mother a ‘slut’.

      Mr Morris said he asked Joanne Starling to “go and sit down darling” due to COVID-19 restrictions. He claimed that she then walked off in frustration.

      The brothers’ criminal defence lawyer said the reason Josh Starling then confronted the security guard was that he called their mother a “f***ing slut,” as she walked off.

      “I disagree,” Mr Morris said, adding Josh Starling’s words were “don’t speak to my f***ing mother like that”.

      The brawl then commenced which led to police laying affray charges.

      It was during this fight that the NRL star was punched in the face multiple times by police.

      “I don’t think they want to see that footage”

      Shortly after the incident, Senior Constable Ransley filmed CCTV footage using his own mobile phone. This was played in court.

      The footage shows an officer punching Tom Starling with his hands down as he is punched in the face multiple times.

      Someone watching the video can be heard saying, “Wow, whoah, I don’t think they want to see that footage”.

      “Nah necessary force,” another person responds.

      “Totally,” says another.

      But Mr Ransley could not recall who else was present and said those words.

      The court was also shown video recordings near where the men were placed in police vehicles.

      “Even when we see Joshua Starling get slammed into a police vehicle Tom Starling is just sitting there calmly,” the brothers’ lawyer said.

      “Yeah he is,” Mr Ransley said.

      Assault Police Charges Withdrawn Against Tom Starling

      Tom, 23, Josh, 21, and Jackson Starling, 25, pleaded not guilty to resist or hinder police. Josh Starling has also pleaded not guilty to common assault and two counts of assault police.

      Their friend Jesse Byrne, 21, has also pleaded not guilty to resist arrest and assault officer in execution of duty.

      The NRL star was also initially charged with multiple counts of assaulting a police officer and affray, however these charges were later withdrawn.

      Senior Constable Brett Ransley who was inspecting the hotel that night said he saw Tom Starling standing at the top of the stairs near the brawl.

      His police statement claimed that Starling stepped forward looking to fight before Mr Ransley pulled him, causing the Canberra Raiders player to fall back down the stairs.

      He was arrested after, “he was acting aggressively, thrusting his arms about,” the officer wrote.

      However, CCTV footage showed a security guard placing Mr Starling in a seated position at the top of the stairs in a headlock before he was turned around.

      It was suggested that the security guard then pushed Starling down the stairs.

      “I don’t recall that,” Mr Ransley said. The officer claimed that the NRL star tried to evade arrest, dropped his body weight as he walked out, and laughed at the officers.

      However, under cross-examination, he could not say when this occurred.

      “Everything you’ve said just happened to be off-camera?”

      The police officer agreed those interactions were not filmed by him as he forgot to turn his body-worn camera on until after the altercations.

      The Offence of Resist Arrest

      Section 58 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out that if you use force to oppose or attempt to escape from police acting in the lawful execution of their duty, you can be guilty of resisting arrest.

      The most common example of what can amount to resisting arrest is struggling against a police officer’s attempt to arrest you.

      You can fight a resist officer offence in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove each of the following beyond reasonable doubt:

      1. You resisted arrest; and 
      2. The police officer(s) was/were acting within their duties

      If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

      Section 546C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out that if you prevent a police officer from carrying out their duty, you can be guilty of hindering police.

      If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

      Resist Arrest is an offence which can carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years if dealt with in the District Court. The maximum penalty in the Local Court is 2 years.

      Hinder Police carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

      Of the 255 cases heard in the Local Court over the last 5 years, less than 25% of people received no conviction for resist arrest. 5% of people were sentenced to some form of imprisonment. The remaining offenders all received convictions.

      Over 75% of offenders are convicted. Clearly, receiving a Section 10 dismissal is not easy. As such, if you wish to avoid a conviction, you should speak to one of a specialist criminal defence lawyer for resist arrest charges. You can contact Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at info@astorlegal.com.au.

      The following defences to resist arrest apply:

      1. The police officer was not acting within their duties. If we can establish that the arrest was not lawful, your actions in resisting or hindering will not constitute an offence.

      2. Identification: If Police cannot establish you were responsible for the assault

      3. Duress: you were forced to commit the offence

      4. Necessity: you committed the offence because it was necessary in the circumstances

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