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Cops deny assaulting NRL star in brawl

Supplied Editorial Canberra Raiders player Tom Starling after an incident with police on
 the Central Coast. Picture supplied
Two police officers have been charged with assault over a wild brawl with NRL star Tom Starling.

Two police officers have pleaded not guilty to assaulting NRL star Tom Starling in a violent brawl at a 21st birthday party.

Senior constable Steven Lockwood Brown, 49, and sergeant Evan Huw Prowse, 37, were two of several police officers called to the Shady Palms hotel on the NSW Central Coast on December 5, 2020.

Tom, 25, and his brothers Jackson, 26, and Josh, 21, were attending a 21st birthday party at the Avoca bar when a fight broke out.

The ensuing brawl was captured on CCTV, with the footage showing Mr Starling being repeatedly punched in the face.

Photographs of the Canberra Raiders hooker in the following days reveal his face was bloody and cut up after the clash.

He and his brothers were charged with resisting police in the execution of their duty, which they consistently denied.

Two police officers have pleaded not guilty to assault after a brawl with Tom Starling.
Two police officers have pleaded not guilty to assault after a brawl with Tom Starling.
Supplied Editorial Canberra Raiders player Tom Starling after an incident with police on\n the Central Coast. Picture supplied
The Canberra Raiders hooker posted images of his injuries after the fight.

After the gruelling 11-day hearing, Tom and Jackson were cleared of the charges.

Their younger brother Josh was found not guilty of two counts of assaulting a police officer while performing their duties.

However, he was found guilty of resisting police and assaulting a security guard, but he was not convicted.

At the time of the decision, the court was told police were still investigating the conduct of the officers involved in the bar brawl.

No other police officers have been charged in relation to the altercation.

On January 24, senior constable Brown and sergeant Prowse were charged on January 24 with assaulting Tom.

Sergeant Prowse was also charged with assaulting Jackson Starling.

On Thursday, both men pleaded not guilty to the charges before magistrate Pauline Wright.

They will return to court in two months to set a hearing date.

The employment statuses of senior constable Brown and sergeant Prowse are under review, according to a NSW Police spokesperson.