The AFL tribunal has slapped GWS forward Jeremy Cameron with a five-game ban for his brutal hit on Brisbane’s Harris Andrews.
Match review officer Michael Christian referred Cameron directly to the tribunal after he graded the incident from Saturday’s clash at the Gabba as intentional conduct, severe impact and high contact.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) June 26, 2018
Cameron, who flew from Sydney to appear at Tuesday night’s hearing at AFL House in Melbourne, entered a plea of not guilty to intentional conduct and guilty to careless conduct.
But the jury of Jason Johnson, David Neitz and Shane Wakelin disagreed, finding him guilty as charged after 33 minutes of deliberation.
“I’d just like to say that I didn’t mean to hurt Harris,” Cameron told reporters as he left the nearly two-hour long hearing.
“Unfortunately I did and I’m very sorry for that. I hope he gets back to playing football very soon.
“I think it was a fair hearing (but) my main concern at the moment is around Harris and his family … I’m sure it caused him a lot of stress over the past few days.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the field where he belongs.”
Cameron will miss a critical section of the 10th-placed Giants’ season.
Jeremy Cameron has been suspended by the AFL Tribunal for five weeks.
More details to follow. pic.twitter.com/02tDCqV0pg
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) June 26, 2018
They host ninth-ranked Hawthorn on Saturday night with games against West Coast, Richmond, Port Adelaide and St Kilda to follow.
Cameron, who is second on the Coleman Medal leaderboard with 35 goals from 12 games, will return in round 20 when GWS play Carlton at Etihad Stadium.
The AFL’s case centred on damning vision of the incident and a medical report from Brisbane.
Andrews spent Saturday night in hospital, and the Lions confirmed the 21-year-old had suffered a severe concussion, a small bleed on his brain and four stitches to a cut on his chin.
The report also stated Andrews is likely to miss at least 14 days of training and two matches.
When called to give evidence, Cameron argued he had made a split-second decision to turn and brace himself for impact after he realised he would be too late to spoil.
Giants legal counsel Rob O’Neill was at pains to illustrate the remorse shown by Cameron, who asked after Andrews at halftime and also exchanged text messages with him the day after the match.
After the guilty verdict was reached, the Giants argued for a four-match ban, while AFL counsel Nick Pane QC made submissions for a six-game suspension.
The jury took just two minutes of deliberation to split the difference and out Cameron for five.