CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Canberra Raiders coach, Ricky Stuart, has today made it clear that the club will be supporting their hooker Tom Starling through the next months of police investigations, following his arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer and attempting to steal his gun on the NSW Central Coast over the weekend.
While very believable for rugby league players at this time of the year, the allegations pitted against Starling appear far too familiar for the coach to write off the 22-year-old just yet.
Starling is the second Raiders player this year to be charged with assaulting a police officer – after Curtis Scott was arrested in January – before police assault charges were dropped in September after a Sydney magistrate was shown bodycam footage of the incident.
However, Stuart said the court process deeply affected Scott and the club is now aware of how to support their players in the face of yet another NSW Police smear campaign, that always somehow get leaked to grubby NRL reporters before the accused’s family members or employers find out.
Stuart remains confident that this is a ‘similar situation’ and that after the copper’s fuck up with Curtis Scott, the presumption of innocence should mostly definitely be presumed until Starling is found guilty.
Curtis Scott was charged with multiple offences in January, after he was found drunkenly sleeping in Moore Park, which is a much better option for a young bloke than driving home pissed, or causing a nuisance in public.
But the trumped up charges, including assaulting police and resisting arrest, were withdrawn or dismissed earlier this month after the court was shown footage from the officers’ body-worn cameras.
However, Curtis Scott has since had his reputation repaired, after the courts saw the same footage as the game officials. It is for this reason that the club is backing themselves to go 2-0 against the NSW Cops with the newest accusations of assault on a police officer.
Curtis Scott finally awoke to punches in his face, pepper spray in his eyeballs, before he was shot with a taser and arrested. The NSW cops then spent eight months investigating this body cam footage that the NRL Integrity Unit was able to dismiss as police brutality within minutes of seeing it in January.
This particular example of unbridled police brutality, which took place in the centre of Sydney, to an elite sportsman, has really given the general public quite good insight into how they keep accidentally killing innocent Indigenous people who never get a headline.
MORE TO COME.