Darren Winter (Lauderdale Coach) was reported for behaving in an abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene manner towards or in relation to an umpire in the first quarter.
The matter was referred directly to the TSL Tribunal for hearing on Thursday (28th September) night at 6:00 pm.
Darren Winter pleaded guilty to the charge.
It was alleged Winter approached the emergency umpire in the first quarter and said: “tell them to stop it.” The emergency umpire then told Winter to “cool down” and leave. It was then alleged Winter again approached umpires later in the quarter and said “you cheating f**king c**ts” whilst angrily gesturing at the field of play.
The emergency umpire said he was intimated and scared by the exchange and following the incident placed Winter on report at quarter time. The umpire’s evidence was reinforced by a TSL matchday official who witnessed the altercation between Winter and the umpire.
All parties agreed that the remarks were said.
Lauderdale Football Club’s defence was that the remarks were not directed at the emergency umpire or other officials, and were instead directed at the North Launceston interchange bench. They also unsuccessfully argued Winter was not looking or gesturing at the emergency or on-field umpires when making the remarks.
Lauderdale argued that it was a volatile situation with regular exchanges taking place between both interchange benches in the lead-up to the incident. The club also argued that emotional crowd behaviour contributed to the situation.
The Independent Tribunal found Winter GUILTY and handed down a sanction of FOUR MATCHES with a 50% loading, taking his overall suspension to SIX MATCHES.
As well as the evidence presented, the tribunal in handing down a verdict took into strong consideration that Winter engaged with the umpire on multiple occasions in the same game and the sport’s zero-tolerance stance on umpire abuse.
The Tribunal used its discretion to hand down a 50% loading with regard to rule 5.5 in the tribunal guidelines referring to: The tribunal has the right to apply (at its absolute discretion) a loading of up to 100% for any reportable offence committed during a Grand Final.
The six-match suspension is to be served from Round 1 of the 2018 Home and Away season and Winter will not be allowed to have any official match day role.
SANCTION: SIX MATCHES