Episode 5: Assault on the sports field

August 2018.

A violent on-field incident in the AFL (Australian Football League) has led to calls for police to bring criminal charges against one of the league's best players.

West Coast player Andrew Gaff has been suspended for eight matches for punching 18-year-old Fremantle player Andrew Brayshaw behind play.

Brayshaw has undergone surgery on a broken jaw and will require further treatment for three broken teeth. The teenager's first season in the game has come to an abrupt and violent end.

The hit has prompted calls for all sorts of things; from a red card system in the AFL, to criminal charges and even jail time.

Can you be charged with assault for punching an opponent on the sports field?

“We have had other assaults on Victorian streets, and streets in Sydney and Perth, where people go to jail and lose their liberty for similar offences," says legal expert Dr Eric Windholz from Monash Law School.

On this episode of Just Cases we explore a similarly notorious incident in 1985. It led to the criminal prosecution of Leigh Matthews - a giant of Australian rules football held by many to be the greatest footballer to have ever played the game.

Episode notes

Storyteller: Dr Eric Windholz, Monash Law School

Hosts: Dr Melissa Castan & James Pattison

Topics for law nerds: Criminal law, assault, sports law, defences, consent, trials, courts, police discretion

MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE

Parallel Park  - 'Counterattack'

Silicon Transmitter - 'Sphere'

Soularflair - 'Cue 2 -Sad-HipHop-Backmasked piano cello Fortitude'

  

IMAGE: 

Flickr/mike_nelson CC BY 2.0 license

LISTEN ON ITUNES

LISTEN ON STITCHER

LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD