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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/115/13
Name Paul March
Club Keighley
Shirt Number 13
Match Featherstone v Keighley
Competition Championship
Date 07/03/13
Incident considered Dissent in 78th minute
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule: 15.1(f) Detail: Foul or Abusive Language towards a Match Official Grade: B
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 1-2
Date of Disciplinary Committee 19/03/13
Evidence provided DVD Dismissal Report
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Not guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 14 March 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(f) during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 78th minute of the Match and reviewed a report from the Match Referee. You were dismissed from the field of play following this incident. In the report the Match Referee states that you used foul and abusive language towards him. After considering the evidence provided and in accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade B offence (Foul or Abusive Language towards a Match Official). If found to have committed the offence, again in accordance with the On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the normal suspension range for such offence is from a 1 to a 2 match suspension. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable. Under the RFL Disciplinary Guidelines you are not eligible to take an Early Guilty Plea due to your previous disciplinary record, where you received a 1 match suspension from the RFL Tribunal on the 31st July 2012.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Player states he pleads not guilty to the offence. The player believes this is a case of mistaken identity and that somebody else may have said the words he is accused of saying to the Match Official. The audio on the referee’s microphone does not pick up any comments from the player and whilst he admits he was frustrated he is adamant he said nothing the referee.
Decision Guilty to foul and abusive language
Reasons for Decision The committee feel that this was a clear case of foul and abusive language. The committee have spoken to the referee who is clear it is Mr March who said the exact words in his report and he would not be mistaken as he knows the player’s voice well. Whilst emotion is obviously involved in many situations the committee have no doubt to believe the officials statements and this act cannot be tolerated within the game. The committee find the player guilty of misconduct
 
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction No further submissions
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction Player does not believe he is guilty of the charge. Admits he has previous convictions for this type of offence but was not guilty on this occasion.
Aggravating Factors Breach of the Respect policy. Previous convictions for similar offences.
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision The committee take acts of foul and abusive language towards match officials very seriously and condone such acts as these. Whilst this is not the worst offence of its kind the committee note, given the player’s previous disciplinary record they feel that a 2 match suspension and a £50 fine is appropriate.
Suspension 2 matches
Fine £50
Warning