Barba to appear over alleged brother-in-law assault

 

FALLEN NRL star Ben Barba punched his brother-in-law in the face at a Mackay pub after being called a "woman basher", police will allege.

The allegation is contained in a police document prepared ahead of Barba's court appearance on Tuesday on a serious assault charge.

The former Dally M winner was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm after allegedly punching his brother-in-law Adrian Currie during a 1am altercation at McGuire's Hotel in Barba's hometown of Mackay last month.

Former NRL star Ben Barba with his lawyer Campbell MacCullum. Picture: Daryl Wright.
Former NRL star Ben Barba with his lawyer Campbell MacCullum. Picture: Daryl Wright.

Police have alleged Barba and wife Ainslie were arguing in the pub's front bar with Mr Currie present.

"The defendant (Barba) has become aggressive and had to be calmed down by another male person," the police allege in the document that will be tendered in court.

" (Barba) then approached the victim who was standing approximately three metres away and began pointing at him in an aggressive manner and began making sharp movements towards him.

"The defendant leant towards the victim and punched him once to the left side of the face. This caused the victim to recoil backwards. The victim felt immediate pain."

Police will allege Barba told them: " … he doesn't like me, and he called me a woman basher".

Mr Currie's cheek appeared to be swollen when he made a formal complaint the following day, police will allege.

They will allege Barba was unable to participate in a record of interview "due to his intoxication level".

Barba is due to face Mackay Magistrates Court on Tuesday in relation to the alleged assault on his brother-in-law.

Ben Barba was one of the NRL’s biggest stars, winning the 2012 Dally M while playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Ben Barba was one of the NRL’s biggest stars, winning the 2012 Dally M while playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs. Picture: Gregg Porteous

Defence lawyer Campbell MacCallum said he would be seeking to have the matter dealt with by justice mediation "given the family relationship between the parties".

"If granted, that would hopefully give them the opportunity to mend their differences of opinion," he said.

Barba was one of the NRL's biggest stars who won the 2012 Dally M medal with the Canterbury Bulldogs and the 2016 premiership with the Cronulla Sharks.

He also had stints with the Brisbane Broncos and champion English Super League club St Helens.

Barba was set to return to the field in the Mackay local league but his latest criminal charge has put those plans on hold indefinitely.


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