Tribunal hears first brawl charges

A single player from the Katherine Camels has been cleared to resume his playing career.

It is the first update from the long-running investigation into a brawl in the Big Rivers WorkSafe League from May 18.

The Big Rivers tribunal met with no notice to the public last night to hear the case of James Hersey from the Camels.

It comes on the eve of a visit of the AFL NT chief executive Stu Totham to Katherine tonight and tomorrow.

It has been two months since spectators and players tangled at the end of a spiteful game between Kalano Bombers and Katherine Camels at Nitmiluk Oval on May 18.

Mr Hersey pleaded guilty to three charges of using abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language; serious misconduct and engaging in a melee and has been issued a total suspension of five matches.

Hersey has not been eligible to play for the previous 5 matches during the deferral period, and the tribunal has considered this time served.

Hersey is now eligible to play this weekend against Eastside Blues.

The 15 charges levelled against four Kalano players are scheduled to be heard later this week.

There are only three rounds of matches left in the disrupted competition.

Upcoming scheduled matches are occurring fortnightly due to Picnic Day long weekend and the Katherine Races.

The last three men’s rounds are as follows:

Round 10 (community round): July 28 and 29.

Round 11: August 10 and August 11.

Round 12: August 24 and 25.

Finals begin on September 1.

AFL NT has appointed independent investigators to probe the wild scenes which followed the end of match where players and spectators were involved in fighting.

There is no information yet on when that investigation will conclude.

Video evidence was used almost immediately for the laying of 18 charges against five players as a result of the brawl.

But the process of hearing those charges has been delayed ever since, waiting for the investigation to conclude.

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