Coronavirus: Mitchell, Addo-Carr charged with firearms offences and fined by NRL

By Sports Desk April 28, 2020

Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr have been charged with firearms offences, while each received fines from the NRL for flouting social-distancing rules at a controversial camp over the weekend.

New South Wales police said South Sydney Rabbitohs back Mitchell, 22, has been issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for the offence of give firearm to person not authorised by licence/permit. His firearms license was suspended by police and a number of firearms seized.

Addo-Carr, 24, was also issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for the offence of use unauthorised firearm. The Melbourne Storm winger was allegedly filmed using a firearm belonging to Mitchell over the weekend.

The pair are expected to appear at Taree Local Court on August 4.

The news followed sanctions from the NRL for breaking guidelines on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both players were hit with 50,000 Australian dollar fines and a one-match ban, which was suspended. Sixty per cent of their fines have also been suspended for the remainder of the season.

Addo-Carr posted pictures to social media which appeared to show 10 men around a campfire.

Newcastle Knights player Tyronne Roberts-Davis was seen in one of the photos. He was fined 10,000 AUD, 60 per cent of which was suspended, and handed a one-match suspended ban.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys reminded the players of their responsibilities.

"It is important that, in these challenging times, we all have to work together to combat COVID-19 and compliance with public health orders is a critical requirement," he said in an NRL statement.

"The players have to understand that they are putting the game and the community at risk by their actions.

"It's certainly hard to accept such behaviour when the game is doing everything it can to persuade the community that its players are responsible and behave appropriately."

NRL acting CEO Andrew Abdo added: "It's important the players understand that they are held to a higher account. I think we've got to look at this in two phases. The players are not in the care of the clubs at the moment, they've been stood down and are subject to the public health order.

"As we enter into the training period and the second phase the protocols are significantly higher. We are all humans, humans make mistakes and there are consequences for those mistakes."

In an Instagram video posted on Monday Mitchell apologised for the gathering, saying: "I have been up here with my family for four or five weeks practising social distancing.

"It was a little bit of a slip-up. Foxy [Addo-Carr] reached out, his cousins are going through a bit of stuff up in Sydney.

"He just wanted to get up to the bush and make sure they were getting cultured and connected again. That was the whole part of the concept of what the weekend was. I wasn't here to break any rules or hurt anyone.

"We're not being selfish, I couldn't turn down the brothers in a time of need. On behalf of Foxy and all my mob, we do want to apologise."

Addo-Carr added in his own video: "Firstly, I'd like to apologise for my actions this weekend.

"Nothing was intentional or deliberate, a couple of family members of mine were going through a really tough time at the moment and I got in contact with Latrell to go out to his private property and try and connect to our culture again and try and put a smile on their faces and have a bit of fun as well."

A fourth player, Nathan Cleary, was handed the same punishment as Roberts-Davis.

The Penrith Panthers man was photographed among a group of women at his home on Anzac Day, with house visits currently restricted.

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