CORNISH Pirates forward Toby Freeman has been handed a four-week ban after appearing in front of an independent disciplinary panel.

Freeman was cited by independent citing commissioner Michael Mason following the Pirates’ Championship Cup game with Jersey Reds on February 2 for two cases of striking an opponent, contrary to Law 9.12. Both incidents occurred in the first half of the match.

The player pleaded guilty to the charges and received a four-week suspension. He is free to play again on March 5, 2019.

Panel chair David Lidbury said: “The panel found that his actions were reckless and that on both occasions, contact had been made with the head of the opponent player. The mandatory mid-range entry point of six weeks was therefore applied to each offence.”

In relation to charge one, the panel gave the player full mitigation, reducing the sanction to three weeks.

On charge two, Lidbury said: “The player accepted that he was aware his technique had been poor in the first incident but did not alter that technique when committing the second offence. In the view of the panel this amounted to a pattern of offending and one week was added onto the entry point as aggravation.  The player was otherwise entitled to mitigation due to his plea, remorse, clear record and good character, reducing the sanction to four weeks.”

Both sanctions are to run concurrently.

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