Disciplinary Hearing - Panel
Monday 19th November 2018
L&DCC Management Committee takes six months to make disciplinary decisions
A hearing was arranged following a complaint and counter complaint by Ormskirk CC and Bootle CC respectively from the match at Wadham Road on Saturday May 5th.
The complaint from Ormskirk CC was received some ten days after the match. Bootle CC contested that their player, Billy Smith, had verbally abused the Ormskirk umpire and counter claimed that the Ormskirk player Andy Gill had verbally abused one of the Bootle supporters.
Neither club accepted the other's claims and eventually a Disciplinary Hearing was considered the only way to resolve the issues. The hearing was held at Liverpool St Helens RUFC on Thursday 19th July. (Why should an L&DCC Disciplinary Hearing be held at a rugby club that has no connection with the L&DCC?)
Following the 2nd XI match between Bootle and Ormskirk on Saturday May 5th, the Bootle CC player Billy Smith was banned for TWO WEEKS following a complaint from Ormskirk CC received some ten days after the match.
The offence was dissent and verbal abuse of the umpire at being given out lbw.
Bootle CC imposed the ban following a lengthy correspondence and the ban was served commencing at midnight on Friday 10th June. This information was only received on 12th July and Bootle CC failed to appear at the hearing.
The panel quickly decided that Billy Smith was guilty as charged and should receive a THREE WEEK ban (two weeks already served) and a further THREE WEEKS suspended until the end of the 2019 season.
In addition Bootle CC should be fined £200 for its players abuse of the Ormskirk umpire, poor behaviour in failing to shake hands with Ormskirk players after the match, failing to follow the regulations in banning the player without advising the Disciplinary Committee and failing to assist the hearing by providing no representatives.
The hearing then went on to consider the allegations concerning Andy Gill.
The panel's decision, based purely on the balance of probabilities was that Andy Gill was guilty and should receive a THREE WEEK ban with a further THREE WEEKS suspended to the end of the 2019 season.
On the 25th July, Andy Gill appealed against the decision and therefore the ban was suspended pending an appeal hearing.
A considerable amount of evidence was presented by Ormskirk CC disputing the credibility of witnesses at the first hearing and this led to a lengthy delay whilst these allegations were investigated.
The appeal request was eventually accepted and the Hearing was held on 14th November.
The Appeal Panel's decision was that the appeal had failed.
The Chairman in summing up said that although some of the evidence to the first hearing had been undermined, it was not sufficient to overturn the original decision.
The words alleged to have been used by Andy Gill are more likely to have been used than not but the panel had decided to reduce the penalty for the offence to TWO WEEKS and TWO WEEKS suspended to the end of the 2019 season.