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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/317/13
Name Gareth Hock
Club Widnes
Shirt Number 22
Match Workington v Widnes
Competition Challenge Cup
Date 12/05/13
Incident considered Deliberate Contact with Referee in 36th minute
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule: 15.1(i) Detail: Deliberate physical contact with a match official Grade: D
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 3-5
Date of Disciplinary Committee 14/05/13
Evidence provided DVD
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Not guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 13 May 2013, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(i) during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 36th minute of the Match. In the Panel’s opinion you made deliberate physical contact with the referee. The Panel believed that this behaviour was serious misconduct, unnecessary and against the spirit of the game. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade D offence (Deliberate physical contact with 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 3 match suspension to a 5 match suspension. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable. Due to the seriousness of the charge you are not eligible to take an Early Guilty Plea. The Charge will therefore be considered by the Tribunal on Tuesday 14 May 2013. In presenting the charge to the Tribunal, I intend to rely on a recording of the Match.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Hearing conducted by Skype with Head Coach Dennis Betts and player. Player pleads not guilty to deliberate contact with the Official. Mr Betts points out there were no deliberate contact with the referee. The player was chasing back and accidentally caught the Official as he was running back. It was raining heavily and conditions underfoot were poor and it was hard to change direction. Player does not lift his arms up he is scrambling back in defence and trying to get to the ball as quickly as possible. Coach spoke to official after game and official made no complaint about the incident. In the context of the game there was nothing deliberate or intentional. On the part of the player.
Decision Guilty
Reasons for Decision The tribunal have carefully reviewed the DVD and listened to the submissions made by the player and his coach. The tribunal are satisfied this was deliberate contact with the Official on the part of the player. The tribunal are aware conditions may have been poor but the other players appeared to be coping with those conditions. The tribunal take into account the referee was backing off. The tribunal feel that the player had the opportunity to avoid a collision. The player must have seen the Official and made contact with him rather than go around him.
 
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 Was accidental contact player maintains.
Aggravating Factors Previous record for a similar offence.
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision In deciding the appropriate sanction the tribunal take into account the players previous disciplinary history, two cases of which involved conduct towards match officials. The tribunal are satisfied the player had no intention to cause injury to the Official. The contact was unnecessary and avoidable. Officials have to be protected and the tribunal feel this is a serious matter. Taking into account all the circumstances the tribunal feel that a 4 match suspension and £300 fine are appropriate.
Suspension 4 matches
Fine £300
Warning