Last Friday night Judd tackled North Melbourne midfielder Leigh Adams and pulled back on his shoulder while he was on the ground and yesterday the Match Review Panel viewed that the report was serious enough to go directly to the AFL Tribunal.
This is just the sixth time that an incident has skipped the MRP and gone directly to the tribunal and the first time since 2009.
The AFL counsel had put it to the tribunal that Judd’s action represented an act serious misconduct which would result in up to 550 demerit points and a five week suspension and therefore needed to go directly to the tribunal.
For his part, Judd’s representatives called the charges “incompetent” arguing that Judd should have had an opportunity to take a lesser penalty via the MRP.
Indeed during the tribunal a remorseful Judd did indeed plead guilty.
After a lengthy hearing, running for well over two hours, the jury considered the arguments for a little over 10 minutes before handing down their verdict: guilty of intentional misconduct.
The tribunal continued at that point with arguments presented by both sides as to what the appropriate penalty should be.
AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson’s position was that the appropriate sanction would be 425-550 demerit points (ie a 4-5 week suspension) in advance of any plea consideration. Taking the 30% loading for Judd’s priors that penalty would then jump to 550-715 demerit points or up to 7 weeks.
Judd’s team argued that the 30% loading should be offset by his remorse and guilty plea and that a more appropriate penalty would have been in the 2-3 week range.
The jury, made up of former players Emmett Dunne, Wayne Schimmelbusch and Wayne Henwood, considered both arguments before ultimately handing down the four match penalty.
In all it was a marathon tribunal hearing that started at 6:15pm and finished at 9:07pm.
For those of you that missed it, here’s the video of the incident:
And here is the footage of other incidents that also went straight to the tribunal:
Photo appears under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY -ND 2.0)