David Attwood, the Gloucester Rugby player appeared before an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin on Thursday, 6 January s a result of the citing complaint arising from the Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 5 match against La Rochelle at Kingsholm on Sunday, 19 December, and was banned.
The citing complaint made by the Citing Commissioner for the match, Tom McCormack (Ireland), was for stamping on La Rochelle prop Petrisor Toderasc (No 1) 15 minutes into the first half. As a result of the incident, Mr Toderasc sustained injuries to his face.
Mr Attwood pleaded guilty to the citing complaint but maintained that he had not intended to make contact with Mr Toderasc’s face. The independent Judicial Officer, Robert Williams (Wales), considered all of the evidence, including video footage of the incident, medical reports relating to Mr Toderasc’s injuries and testimony from Mr Attwood.
The Judicial Officer heard submissions on behalf of ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor, and on behalf of Mr Attwood from his legal representative, Richard Smith QC, and from Gloucester Rugby coach, Carl Hogg.
The Judicial Officer did not find that Mr Attwood intended to make contact with Mr Toderasc’s face, but he determined that Mr Attwood was guilty of foul play in contravention of Law 10.4(b) in that he had stamped on Mr Toderasc. Having also concluded that the stamp was intentional and that it had caused injury, the Judicial Officer found that the offence was in the top-end range of the level of seriousness for an offence of this type and decided on an entry point of 18 weeks.
Having taken into account mitigating factors, including Mr Attwood’s guilty plea, clean record, clear remorse and exemplary conduct at the hearing, the Judicial Officer reduced the period of suspension by the maximum amount of 50 per cent and suspended the player for a period of nine weeks.
The period of suspension was back-dated to begin on the day of the match in order to take into account that Mr Attwood had been suspended by his club soon after the match as a result of the incident. Mr Attwood is free to play again on Monday, 21 February, 2011.
Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure in contravention of Law 10.4(b), ‘A player must not stamp on an opponent,’ carries the following recommended sanctions – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 9 to 52 weeks
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