Latest Starling incident clouds future of Raiders hookers

Police have charged Tom Starling over a pub altercation, with the latest incident clouding his future and that of fellow Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson.

Starling was one of four people charged following an alleged intimidation incident over the weekend at the same venue he was involved in an incident last year. The 23-year-old was charged with threaten/cause injury to potential juror/witness and for offensive behaviour in a public place.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said the scene was attended by the same police unit that investigated Starling’s previous incident. All but one of the seven charges against Starling from the initial incident have been dropped, with the dummy half pleading not guilty to the final charge of hindering an officer.

The latest incident raises fresh questions about his career, just as he was finalising an upgraded and extended Raiders deal that would result in him remaining in the nation’s capital until the end of 2024.

Hodgson is contracted to the Raiders next year, but was tipped to join Wests Tigers after being given permission to speak to other clubs. If the price was right, Hodgson was set to shift to Concord, but the Green Machine may now opt to block the move given the cloud over Starling.

According to a police statement, Starling was one of four people refused entry to a licensed premises on the Terrigal Esplanade over the weekend due to capacity limits. It is alleged the group became agitated and threatened a security guard on several occasions before walking away from the venue.

Tom Starling is again in trouble with the law.Credit:NRL Photos

Officers from Brisbane Water Police District attended a short time later and attempted to speak to the group before Starling and a 20-year-old woman fled on foot. The other men, aged 20 and 25, yelled and hindered police during their inquiries.

After the police launched an investigation, Starling and the other two men attended Gosford Police Station at 9am today, where they were arrested and charged. The woman attended later in the morning and was also arrested and charged.

All four were granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on January 11, 2022.

The Raiders are expected to issue a statement on the matter on Wednesday afternoon.

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