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Disciplinary Item

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Case Number ON/655/14
Name Lee Paterson
Club Batley
Shirt Number 17
Match Batley v Leigh
Competition Championship
Date 04/08/14
Incident considered Homophobic abuse in the 72nd minute
Decision Charge
Details of Charge / Reason for NF Rule – 15.1(f) Detail – Uses offensive or obscene language - Verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin Grade - E
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* 4-8 Match Ban
Date of Disciplinary Committee 12/08/14
Evidence provided DVD Letter's handed in from player and opponent
 
Decision On Charge
Player plea Not guilty
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 72nd minute of the Match. In the Panel’s opinion you used verbal abuse based on sexual preference. The Referee’s report states to this effect. You were dismissed from the field following the incident. The Panel believed that this behaviour was misconduct 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 E offence (Uses offensive or obscene language - Verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin). If found to have committed the offence, again in accordance with the On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the normal suspension range for such offence is a 4 to 8 match suspension. In addition the Tribunal has the power to impose such fine as it considers reasonable.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence Player accompanied by CEO of Batley Paul Harrison. Player accepts that he did make the comments that were alleged but did not intend them to be a homophobic slur on the opponent. He intent was to indicate that the opponent was a cheat by his actions throughout the game where he was trying to stir the opponents and cause a fight amongst the players. Player indicated that he was not aware during the game that the official had already warned his team mates regarding the use of homophobic comments. On the first occasion the two players came together the player questioned the opponent’s actions and concedes he did retaliate by using the words that are alleged. They were not meant in any homophobic way. Player did not realise the word he used could be construed as homophobic he related it to being a cheat.
Decision Guilty
Reasons for Decision The Tribunal do not intend to use the phrase referred to in this charge. The tribunal feel it is not necessary as the words spoken are accepted by the player as having been said. The player argues the words were said and meant in a different context in that the opponent by his actions during the game was cheating. The MRP do not accept the words used were in the context of cheating but were intended as a homophobic slur. They refer to the Officials report who indicates the remarks were made with malice and in a homophobic manner. It is not the case that the player is generally homophobic but this tribunal are satisfied that on this occasion the player did use the words which were homophobic. The tribunal find the case proved against this player.
 
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction No additional submissions
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction 14yrs as a player-no previous complaints about this type of conduct
Aggravating Factors
Mitigating Factors
Reasons for Decision In deciding the appropriate sanction this tribunal have a determination to eradicate this type of behaviour in the game. This tribunal feel the appropriate sanction is this case is 5 matches and a £50 fine.
Suspension 5 matches
Fine £50
Warning