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Re: More Gouging?
Posted by: fatheralice
Date: 04/10/2017 21:26
Iím sorry Fartheralice, but in the nature of a good spirited debate, thatís not completely true. While there is a reduction in sentence if the person pleaded guilty, it is not automatically halved. Where I feel the ban is leinient is that it was considered intentional but only considered entry as no injury was caused, in world rugby laws an intentional act shouldnít be entry level, it should be mid point. Additionally world rugby have asked that an extra week be added for eye gouging, it wasnít.
I agree that Ashton should have pleaded guilty, but there were other factors, and intention did not play the same role. When Kruis was accused of contact with the eye during a maul against Bath it was thrown out as rugby incident as it was unintentional. By the letter of their laws it was contact with the eyes, but no ban given as accidental. Iím not saying that Ashtonís wasnít reckless, but it wasnít intentional, and no injury was caused, which wasnít a factor as it was this time

Iím not saying Ash shouldnít have been banned, just that there should be consistency across punishments.

RFU judgement on Callum Clarke v Hawkins incident
There are no aggravating features and all of the standard mitigating factors are
present. The Player is genuinely contrite, he realises the damage done to an individual
and to the wider image of the Game, he admitted culpability at the earliest opportunity
and he undoubtedly wishes to make reparation for his offending. He is, therefore,
entitled to 50% discount from that entry point
which leads me to conclude that the
appropriate sanction is a suspension of 32 weeks. Since this is a long sanction it will
run continuously through the summer vacation without a break.

19.11.11 Thereafter, a Disciplinary Panel shall identify all relevant off-field mitigating
factors and determine if there are grounds for reducing the period of
suspension and subject to Regulations 19.11.12 and 19.11.13 the extent, if at
all, by which the period of suspension should be reduced. Mitigating factors
include the following:
(a) The presence and timing of an acknowledgment of culpability/guilt
by the offending Player;
(b) The Playerís disciplinary record and/or good character;
(c) The youth and inexperience of the Player;
(d) The Playerís conduct prior to and at the hearing;
(e) The Player having demonstrated remorse for the Playerís conduct to
the victim Player including the timing of such remorse; and
(f) Any other off-field mitigating factor(s) that the Disciplinary Panel
considers relevant and appropriate.
19.11.12 Subject to Regulations 19.11.13 and 19.11.14 for acts of Foul Play the
Disciplinary Panel cannot apply a greater reduction than 50% of the relevant
entry point suspension. In assessing the percentage reduction applicable
for mitigating factors, the Disciplinary Panel shall start at 0% reduction and
apply the amount, if any, to be allowed as mitigation up to the maximum
50% reduction.

Just about everyone that pleads guilty will get this 50% reduction, unless they have a bad previous record, as it is a given that they will meet the other criteria ie be well mannered at the hearing (Venter aside!), express remorse, and provide good character references, including community work. You'd be pretty stupid not to meet these other criteria!

Just about every judgement I have read where there was a guilty plea has seen a 50% reduction of the entry point. Whilst not automatic perhaps, it is pretty much universal, given the above.

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