Hawks' Brown not guilty at AFL tribunal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks' Brown not guilty at AFL tribunal

14/04/2009 08:18:48 PM Comments (0)

Injury-ravaged Hawthorn have scored an important win at the AFL tribunal, with premiership utility Campbell Brown found not guilty of rough conduct.

Collingwood defender Heath Shaw also escaped with a one-match ban after pleading guilty to intentional umpire contact.

It was widely assumed Shaw would receive a two-match ban, but his good record and guilty plea reduced the penalty.

While he misses Friday's game against Brisbane, Shaw is available for the following week's Anzac Day blockbuster against Essendon.

Brown was facing a three-match ban if the tribunal had found him guilty.

But the three-man jury was not satisfied Brown's bump made forceful contact to the head or neck of North Melbourne midfielder Daniel Wells.

A clearly-relieved Brown said his verdict was "an outstanding result".

"I always felt I had a strong case ... I never felt I made strong contact to the head of Wells," Brown said.

"I wasn't confident, but I knew there was some doubt there.

"We've lost a few soldiers over the last few weeks ... I'm really happy at the moment."

The premiers' injury woes persisted following the win over the Kangaroos, losing defender Grant Birchall for up to a month with a broken thumb, while fellow premiership player Xavier Ellis will miss a week with a foot injury.

As Wells was about to snap at goal on Sunday, he sensed Brown was running at top speed to make a bump.

Wells went to evade the contact and this dropped his head slightly.

He was awarded a free kick when Brown's bump knocked the ball out of his hands and the Kangaroos onballer went to ground holding his head, but there were no ill effects.

Shaw was also obviously relieved after the tribunal accepted an AFL recommendation on the penalty for his contact with field umpire Michael Vozzo.

Under tribunal rules, a charge of intentional umpire contact is referred directly to the tribunal.

The league recommended Shaw should receive 225 demerit points - a two-game ban - and a $2,600 fine.

His five-year good record reduced the points total by 25 per cent and his guilty plea earned another 25 per cent discount.

That meant his points total was 126.56, just above the 100-point threshold for a one-match suspension.

His guilty plea also reduced the fine to $1,950.

Shaw did not give evidence during his brief hearing and did not speak afterwards.

Vozzo testified that he reported Shaw because the player had not just touched him, but pushed him slightly off balance.

Vozzo was moving in to break up a minor scuffle when Shaw tried to attract his attention.

Shaw's advocate Tony Burns apologised on his behalf and said Shaw meant no malice.

Earlier on Tuesday, Shaw's teammate Tarkyn Lockyer said the AFL had made it clear players should not touch umpires.

"Every player throughout the league should know that you don't touch the umpires, as was seen with the Brett Kirk incident last week, they want to make an example." Lockyer said.

Last week, Kirk received a reprimand and a fine for negligent umpire contact, a case also referred straight to the tribunal.

Also on Tuesday, Shaw's captain Nick Maxwell accepted a two-match striking ban.

The only unresolved case from the weekend is a negligent umpire contact charge against Western Bulldogs defender Ryan Hargrave.

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