Charges over rugby ref assault

A GWYDIR River Rats player has been charged by police over the alleged violent assault on a linesman during a rugby union match last weekend.

Following an investigation by rugby officials and police, the 43-year-old man fronted Bingara Police Station yesterday where he was charged with two offences stemming from the alleged assault.

He is accused of striking 49-year-old Bernie O’Shannessy in the second half of the Gwydir River Rats and Pirates match last Saturday at Bingara Oval.

The man, who was sin-binned and then red-carded and ordered from the field, allegedly assaulted the match official, knocking him  unconscious.

Mr O’Shannessy was treated by ambulance paramedics before being taken to Bingara hospital for observation and was released later that night.

The accused was asked to leave the ground by club officials as police were called to investigate.

After a public appeal for information and speaking with a number of witnesses, the police investigation culminated in yesterday’s charges.

“As a result, the 43-year-old man was issued with a court attendance notice in relation to a matter that occurred on Saturday, August 30,” Barwon Inspector Stuart Campbell said.

“Barwon detectives have been monitoring the investigation and the man was charged by Bingara police.”

He’s facing one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one charge of common assault.

The man has been ordered to appear in Inverell Local Court on October 23.

Officials from the New England Rugby Union zone have also confirmed the 43-year-old player will be required to appear before the judiciary to answer breaches of the code.

“Barwon detectives have been monitoring the investigation and the man was charged by Bingara police.”

He’s facing one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one charge of common assault.

The man has been ordered to appear in Inverell Local Court on October 23.

Officials from the New England Rugby Union zone have also confirmed the 43-year-old player will be required to appear before the judiciary to answer breaches of the code.

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