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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Charges Laid:

Steven Baker, striking Geelong's Steve Johnson: assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point) and high contact (two points), equaling six activation points, Level Three offense, 225 demerits, and a 2 game suspension. His prior record of seven games suspended within the past three years increases the penalty 50% to 337.50 demerits and a three game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 253.13 demerits and a two game suspension with 53.13 demerits held over toward his future record.

Steven Baker, charged with a second offense of striking Steve Johnson: see above

Steven Baker, charged with a third offense of striking Steve Johnson: see above

Steven Baker, misconduct for unreasonable and unnecessary contact with an injured player Steve Johnson (reported to have suffered a broken bone in his hand): assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point), and body contact (two points), equaling five activation points, a Level Two offense, drawing 125 demerits, and a one game suspension. His prior record of seven games suspended within the past three years increases the penalty 50% to 187.50 demerits, still a one game suspension.

While Baker accepted the penalties for striking, he and the club decided to challenge the misconduct charge on the grounds that Baker had no way of knowing that Johnson was continuing to play while injured. His advocate, Tony Nolan, used that argument in an effort to get Baker acquitted of the misconduct charge. His defense included the fact that Johnson left the field several minutes after Baker hit Johnson's hand, an instruction which came from a Geelong team runner, not medical or training staff. He also argued tha, while Johnson was on the bench he received no medical attention and played out the match. Nolan also raised the question of why Johnson returned to the field if he was clearly injured. AFL prosecutor Andrew Tinney countered that Johnson displayed signs of pain before Baker made contact and implored the panel to see that "... there must have been something in it ...". Tinney further argued that Johnson was clearly in pain by the way he wrung his hand and that Baker's actions were deliberate to cause pain to Johnson. Tinney also basically accused Baker of a cowardly act in that he targeted an injured player. He stated that while it was one thing for "taggers" to ''put a (rival) player off his game'', they needed to do so within the rules. He said, "It's hardly the manly exercise of physical force...to slap someone on the hand...'He knew he (Johnson) had an injury and tried to zero in on it to get an advantage.''

The panel sided with the prosecution in that Baker knew Johnson was injured when he slapped his hand. They therefore upheld the original finding of the MRP, leaving Baker suspended for a total of nine games.

Steve Johnson, striking Steven Baker: assessed as reckless conduct (two points), low impact (one point), and high contact (two points), equaling of five activation points, a Level Two offense, 125 demerits, and a one game suspension. He has 93.75 demerits held over from the past year, increasing the penalty to 218.75 demerits and a two game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty to 164.06 demerits and a one game suspension with 64.06 demerits held over toward his future record.

Steve Johnson, striking Steven Baker: assessed as reckless conduct (two points), medium impact (two points), and high contact (two points), equaling six activation points, a Level Three offense, 225 demerits, and a two game suspension. He has 93.75 demerits held over from the past year, increasing the penalty to 318.75 points and a three game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 239.06 demerits and a two game suspension with 39.06 demerits held over toward his future record.

Cameron Mooney (GEEL), striking Jason Blake (STK): assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point), and high contact (two points), equaling six activation points, a Level Three offense, 225 demerits, and a two game suspension. He has a prior record of two games suspended within the past three years, increasing the penalty 25% to 270 demerits. He also has 68.75 demerits held over from the past year, further increasing the penalty to 338.75 demerits and a three game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 254,06 demerits and a two game suspension, with 54.06 demerits held over toward his future record.

Source: theage.com.au, Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release


Article last changed on Monday, July 05, 2010 - 8:25 AM EDT


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