Sport AFL North cop Brent Harvey ban, no appeal

North cop Brent Harvey ban, no appeal

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AFL club North Melbourne has accepted Brent Harvey’s three-week ban, opting against an appeal.

Harvey was given a three-match suspension for throwing Western Bulldogs tagger Liam Picken to the ground and pinning him with a forearm to the throat.

The 36-year-old will miss clashes with Adelaide and Melbourne as well as week one of the finals, should the Kangaroos qualify as expected.

The misconduct charge was referred directly to the tribunal, the three-man panel retiring for five minutes on Tuesday night before finding Harvey guilty.

“Immediately after the decision was announced and through until this morning, we have been exploring our avenues for an appeal,” North’s director of football Geoff Walsh said.

“However, we have been unable to identify anything that could help reduce the penalty for Brent.

“We were obviously extremely disappointed with the severity of the suspension at the tribunal last night, but acknowledge we received a fair hearing.

“If we could appeal the decision we would, but the reality is there are simply no grounds for it given the circumstances and the way the case played out.”

Harvey’s advocate Justin Hannebery proposed three weeks was “far too close to the more serious aspects of misconduct and would be over the top” during Tuesday night’s hearing.

But jury members Wayne Henwood, David Neitz and David Pittman disagreed, imposing a penalty of 341 demerit points.

AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson QC had pushed for a four-week ban, saying Harvey showed a “degree of contrition” in pleading guilty but his existing bad record was more paramount.

The 382-game veteran served a six-game suspension at the start of the 2013 season, burdening him with a 40 per cent loading.

Hannebery broke the incident down to two phases during the case, pleading guilty to the initial hip-toss but arguing Harvey then attempted to stand up when Picken held him down.

“I don’t think I had any other option,” Harvey testified.

“He made contact with me and grabbed me with both hands.

“I tried to get up and get some leverage to push up … he was pulling me down with force,” he added, likening it to a “tug of war”.

“Not at one stage did I want to hurt him .. or cause him pain.”

The Kangaroos will be without Harvey and Daniel Wells for Saturday’s clash with the Crows in Hobart, with the latter accepting a combined one-match ban for striking and rough-conduct charges.