GWS ruckman Shane Mumford is free to resume his AFL career in round three after the AFL tribunal fined him $3000 for a downgraded striking charge.
Mumford was offered a one-match ban after he was charged with intentionally striking Sydney’s George Hewett during a practice match at Blacktown Oval on Friday.
But at Wednesday night’s tribunal hearing at AFL House, GWS legal counsel Adrian Anderson successfully argued the blow was careless, which dropped the penalty back to a fine.
Mumford will miss the first two rounds of the season as he serves a club-imposed suspension applied after video surfaced of him snorting a white substance, allegedly back in 2015.
“Obviously it was good that we got a fair hearing and the jury found that it wasn’t my intention to strike George,” Mumford told reporters outside the tribunal hearing.
“I’m hoping I don’t end up here again for the rest of the season, for sure.
“I was extremely flat knowing I was going to miss the third round … it was pretty devastating so to get the result we did was great.”
Mumford told the hearing he had been attempting to push Hewett off him after the Swan grabbed him around the neck during a ruck contest.
Controlling umpire Leigh Fisher said that he would have paid a free kick to Mumford had he seen the initial contact made by Hewett.
He instead paid a free kick against Mumford but didn’t report him on the spot because he felt the blow wasn’t forceful enough.
The jury comprising of Michael Jamison, Jason Johnson and Richard Loveridge took just 10 minutes to find him guilty of a lesser charge after an hour-long hearing.
Mumford was forced into retirement at the end of the 2017 season by a chronic foot injury but has resumed his career with the Giants after the condition improved with time away from the game.
© AAP 2019