Hawthorn’s Brian Lake has been banned for four matches by the AFL Tribunal.
Hawthorn’s star fullback Brian Lake will serve a four-match ban after he was found guilty of making intentional contact to the throat of North Melbourne’s Drew Petrie.
The 2013 Norm Smith Medallist, who has played only five games this season because of injury and suspension, looked shattered as he departed AFL House. Lake faces an uphill battle to regain fitness and form for the finals series following his 410-point penalty.
The second-placed Hawks have seven matches remaining in the home-and-away season.
“It’s been a tough couple of days for myself and my family,” the 32-year-old Lake told reporters after a hearing of more than 90 minutes.
“I respect the jury’s decision on the four weeks.
“Leading into the finals I’ve got three game to get my match fitness and look for a big September.”
Lake’s case had been referred directly by the match review panel to the tribunal.
The veteran defender said in evidence he had been simply trying to grab Petrie’s jumper around the collarbone area.
Player advocate Chris Townshend said Lake denied putting Petrie in a “choker-hold” and was instead guilty of a lesser offence of aggressive wrestling.
Legal counsel Andrew Woods said the video footage showed Lake attacking Petrie’s throat.
“It was an intentional application of force to the throat,” Woods said.
Lake was shown footage of the incident and when asked if his hand was on Petrie’s throat, he said it was in the collarbone area.
“I have no recollection of him crying out. I could see he was in discomfort, yes,” Lake said.
“I don’t think it was significant force, no.
“I had a very good grip of his jumper.
“I probably should have let go …,” Lake added.
Townshend argued for a penalty of two to three games and Burns said a minimum of three matches was suitable.
Earlier, Petrie avoided a suspension despite pleading guilty to a misconduct charge for attacking Lake’s face while Lake was on top of him.
The North forward said he acted in self-defence and successfully argued an appropriate penalty was a reprimand with no carryover points.
Petrie could have accepted a reprimand and 93.75 carryover points with an early guilty plea and was risking a one-game ban.
Petrie argued he was in a potentially dangerous position and he simply pushed upwards to get his opponent off him.
“My hand was on his face for about two seconds. As soon as I realised I’d made contact with his face, I pulled my hand away,” Petrie said.
The jury deliberated for three minutes before finding a reprimand with no carryover points was an appropriate penalty.
Essendon acting captain Brendon Goddard, Brisbane midfielder Tom Rockliff and West Coast key forward Josh Kennedy have accepted one-game suspensions.
North Melbourne youngster Luke McDonald, Greater Western Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford and Gold Coast defender Rory Thompson took reprimands, while Brisbane’s Claye Beams received a fine.