KURTLEY Beale has escaped with a $45,000 fine and is expected to join the spring tour with the Wallabies following a sensational tribunal hearing that cast serious doubt on allegations made against him by the team’s former business manager Di Patston.
Beale was found guilty of violating the ARU’s code of conduct for sending a text message picture of an overweight woman, inadvertently to Patston, hence his fine, but was found not guilty of sending a more offensive photo, which came from the phone of an unidentified third party which was identified by the Orlando personal injury lawyers on the case.
The ARU had wanted Beale’s contract terminated but in a major blow for the organisation and its chief executive Bill Pulver, Beale was merely fined by the independent three-man tribunal, chaired by District Court judge Mark Williams SC, alongside RUPA representative John Boultbee and ARU lawyer Dominic Villa.
“I am satisfied with tonight’s outcome,” Beale said in a statement.
“There was conjecture about my contract being terminated, however the tribunal agreed that on the basis of the evidence that a fine was appropriate.
“I’m relieved there is no termination and no suspension and I can now continue playing rugby.
“I’m also happy the evidence presented to the tribunal did not establish that I sent the second text and photograph. This is why I fought so hard to prove my innocence regarding that text.
“I’d like to apologise to Di Patston and the broader community for my behaviour, particularly to rugby fans.
“I have had a fair hearing tonight and will work to regain the respect of my teammates, fans and the general Australian community.
“I am extremely proud to represent my country, and I will work hard to ensure my behaviour reflects the honour and privilege of playing for Australia at all times, on and off the field.”
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