Harley Bennell suspended for four AFL matches, Melbourne fined for coronavirus protocol breach



The AFL has suspended Melbourne’s Harley Bennell for four matches and fined the Demons $50,000 after he breached the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

Bennell was found to have breached the protocols after leaving the Demons’ high-performance centre in Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast.

The AFL, who investigated the matter, said he “attempted to visit another residence without approval and visiting an unapproved premises”.

The league said Bennell would leave the Demons’ base in Queensland “as soon as possible”.

Bennell’s suspension means he will miss the first four matches of the 2021 season.

The AFL did not suspend any part of the Demons’ fine, as two of the club’s players had committed protocol breaches earlier in the season.

The $50,000 amount will be included in Melbourne’s 2021 soft cap.

“This is a selfish act by Harley, and a clear breach of the AFL’s protocols,” Demons chief executive Gary Pert said in a statement.

“He has made a very poor decision, which is incredibly disappointing. He has not only put himself, his teammates and the competition at risk, but he has failed to live up to the values of the Melbourne Football Club.

“On behalf of the Melbourne Football Club, I sincerely apologise to the AFL and the Queensland Government for the embarrassment and harm that this incident has caused.

“Harley knew the rules. He understands the extent of his actions and is incredibly remorseful for his behaviour. He has made a terrible mistake and has been punished accordingly.

“As a club, we accept the punishment and fines handed down as a result of this breach.”

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said there was no excuse for Bennell breaching the league’s protocols.

“Harley knew the rules and could have put his club and the competition at risk on the eve of a finals campaign,” he said.

The AFL’s punishment of Bennell comes just over two weeks after Richmond’s Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones were sent home from Queensland and suspended for a protocol breach on the Gold Coast.

The league’s Victorian teams are based in Queensland hubs to enable the competition to continue during the pandemic, but they must abide by a set of COVID-19 protocols to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Bennell, who previously played for Fremantle, appeared in five matches for the Demons this season.

He was not part of the club’s travelling squad that beat Essendon in Carrara on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The Demons’ season is now over after they slipped out of the top eight following the Western Bulldogs’ win over the Dockers in Cairns on Sunday night.

The Bulldogs replaced the Demons in the top eight as a result of their victory.



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NRL 2020: Christian Welch fined over COVID-19 bubble breach, Melbourne Storm, news, update


Melbourne Storm prop Christian Welch has been hit with a $10,000 fine after being served with a breach notice by the NRL for breaching COVID-19 protocols overnight Thursday.

26-year-old Welch invited an ‘unregistered guest’ into the team’s Sunshine Coast hub just hours before the team was set to finish its 14-day quarantine at midnight Friday morn, which would have seen Welch freed of strict biosecurity restrictions.

Instead, Welch was stood down by the club and has now been hit with a $20,000 fine, with half that amount suspended. He will also miss Saturday’s clash with Wests Tigers as he remains in isolation awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

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Round 19



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Teen fined £10k for ‘gatecrashed’ house party was ‘utterly stupid’, says dad


The parents of a teenager hit with a £10,000 Covid-19 fine for a school leavers’ house party say he was “utterly stupid” but police should scrap the penalty.

It is claimed as many as 100 people attended the party in Devizes, Wiltshire, while the boy’s mum and dad were away on holiday.

The parents, who have spoken out on condition he is not named, said they gave their son permission to have up to six friends round the night of September 4, but it got out of control as word spread.

It is said to have been gatecrashed by people who had been drinking at a pub.

The boy’s parents said they have made three complaints against Wiltshire Police and claim the force made false allegations about the incident in a media statement.

They have vowed to take it to the highest court for a test case if the force does not apologise and withdraw the charge, which they claim was unfair.

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It is alleged the party in Devizes, Wiltshire, was gatecrashed by pubgoers

The teenager’s dad told the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: “We were on holiday and my son who has just left school was told by us that he could have up to six people round.

“But instead he thought he and his friends could manage a social distancing party here for 20.

“One of the people invited someone else, who then invited a large number of gatecrashers.

“Our son tried to get rid of them and partially succeeded but some congregated on the road outside.”

Police arrived and the teenager received a £10,000 fine under new government restrictions aimed at cracking down on large gatherings and curbing the spread of the virus.

His parents said they decided to speak out because they want to give their side of the story following the statement by police.

They asked not to be named because they worry being identified would hurt their son’s future job prospects.

Police claim between 80 and 100 people gathered at the property, numbers hotly disputed by the boy and his family.

The boy’s dad said: “We came back early from holiday and met two police officers who had attended the house and they told us that they had done a drive past, had warned people outside and to turn music down.

“They did not go to the house or have contact with my son and when they did go to the house he co-operated with them. There was no warning here. They went straight for the fine.”

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The parents said unless they get a rapid response to their complaints they will report the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, England’s police watchdog.

It was the first £10,000 fine issued by Wiltshire Police since the new, increased penalties were introduced by the government for people holding gatherings of over 30 people.

The dad said of his son: “He did something wrong. He was utterly stupid. He ignored our instructions and the government advice. He is very chastened.

“But they were gatecrashed.

“This is a completely new law. We have never had legal restrictions on the number of people in a house before.

“This could go to the Supreme Court as to whether you can legally impose a criminal penalty when the majority of people were gatecrashers.”

Wiltshire Police did not issue any individual fines at the Devizes party, and say the fine issued at the weekend was the first since tougher measures were introduced.

In a media statement, the force said: “As we continue to navigate through the Covid pandemic, we all have to take personal responsibility for our actions and adhere to the regulations.

“Despite a warning, the organiser allowed the gathering of 80 to 100 people to continue, which is in clear breach of the current restrictions which state that ‘no gathering of more than 30 people may take place indoors which would constitute a rave if it were outdoors- amplified music, at night and due to loudness, duration and time it would likely cause significant distress to locals’.

“The organiser and everyone who attended was putting their own health and the health of others at risk.

“Officers attempted to engage with the group and educate them on the rules but we will enforce them if appropriate and proportionate.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint in relation to this matter. This will now be dealt with following the usual process so it would be inappropriate to comment “

Police across the UK have received dozens of reports of illegal gatherings over past two weekends since the new law came into effect.

Two organisers at a rave in West Glamorgan that attracted an estimated 3,000 people were handed fixed-penalty notices for £10,000 on Sunday.

Those facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or any other unlawful gathering of more than 30 people may face a £10,000 fine.

Fines of £100 can be issued to those who participate in illegal gatherings and those who have already received a fine will see the amount doubled on each offence, up to £3,200. The £10,000 fine is imposed by the police.

The person receiving it then has the choice to either pay it or contest the case in the magistrates’ court.





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Man fined for picking up cheap mattress


A 40-minute trip across town to pick up a cheap mattress turned into an expensive exercise for man who was one of 109 Victorians fined for breaching lockdown rules over the past 24 hours.

The driver was caught travelling from Ascot Vale to the outer Melbourne suburb of Keysborough about 45km away, told police he was on his way to collect the mattress, which he found “cheap” on Facebook.

Other fines dished out included a man and woman found at a friend’s holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula where they planned to stay the weekend.

Two women hanging out at Tarneit railway station without a valid reason were also penalised.

Twenty people were caught failing to wear a mask, while 36 were fined for breaking curfew.

More than 2000 vehicles were checked and 2590 spot checks were done on people at homes, businesses and public places statewide.

Police have conducted 419,772 spot checks since March 21.



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Former halfway house employee jailed, fined for accepting bribes from residents


SINGAPORE: A former employee at a halfway house was sentenced to 11 weeks’ jail and fined S$980 on Friday (Sep 11) for accepting bribes from residents undergoing rehabilitation, in exchange for showing leniency when they broke the rules.

Roy Evan Rajoo, 60, was charged with 20 counts under the Prevention of Corruption Act on Jun 3.

The offences were committed between November 2018 and May 2019, when Roy Evan was an operations staff at Teen Challenge (Singapore) (TCS). The halfway house provides rehabilitation for inmates from the Singapore Prison Service assigned to community-based programmes.

“His duty was to check on the residents and ensure that they do not contravene the Teen Challenge (Singapore) rules prohibiting the consumption and possession of cigarettes and alcohol during their stay,” said the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in a news release.

His job scope included conducting smokerlyser and breathalyser tests on residents when they return from work or visits, and to put up an incident report if there had been any violations.

CPIB found that he had received S$3,000 worth of bribes in the form of loans from 12 residents. In return, he would not conduct the required tests or fail to put up incident reports when they were caught violating the rules.

ACCUSED ACCEPTED BRIBES IN RETURN FOR FAVOURS

The bribes ranged between S$10 and S$500, according to court documents. 

In one case, Roy Evan had caught a resident smoking in December 2018. He told the resident that he would let him off without an incident warning, but that he must repay the favour.

A few days later, he asked the resident for a S$250 loan. In January 2019, he asked the resident for another S$250 loan.

In May that year, Roy Evan confiscated four packets of cigarettes from another resident’s bag when the latter returned from a medical appointment and filed an incident report. When the resident offered him S$50 in return for letting him off, he refused as there was a CCTV nearby.

However, when the resident later asked him to put in a good word with the assistant centre director to “alleviate any penalty” he might receive for the packets of cigarettes, Roy Evan asked for a S$70 loan in return. The resident agreed and gave him S$80.

Court papers showed that he has repaid five of the residents the amounts he owed them.

“The accused’s actions perverted the purpose of TCS, which was to rehabilitate ex-offenders,” said the prosecution.

“By corruptly extracting gratification from the residents in exchange for, essentially, allowing them to flout the rules of TCS, the accused incentivised the very attitudes that the residents were meant to turn away from. 

“This undermines the perception of TCS as a rehabilitative institution in the eyes of its residents, if not the eyes of the general public.”

Anyone convicted of a corruption offence could be jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$100,000 or both. 



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Alaskans fined, escorted to U.S. after allegedly violating Quarantine Act in B.C.


RCMP in British Columbia say four Americans have been fined $500 each for violating emergency orders under the Quarantine Act.

Spokeswoman Dawn Roberts says a vehicle with Alaska licence plates sparked suspicion in the Vancouver area late last month.

She says police found the vehicle and determined the driver and three passengers were in breach of restrictions in place for Americans travelling to and from Alaska through Canada.

Such travellers are allowed a reasonable length of time to take the most direct route to their destination, and receive a tag for their rear-view mirror that indicates the date they must leave the country.

Roberts says it appears the four Alaskans weren’t on the most direct path to Washington state, and were staying in B.C. outside the prescribed timeline.

The four travellers were escorted to the Peace Arch border crossing and Roberts says there were no indications they posed a public health risk.



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Antigonish student fined $1,000 after not self-isolating


A university student in Antigonish has been fined for failing to self-isolate, a mandatory requirement after travelling from outside the Atlantic bubble.

Nova Scotia RCMP say police received a complaint about the student on Aug. 24.

The next day, the student was fined $1,000 under the Health Protection Act.

Read more:
Students coming to Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic bubble to receive mandatory coronavirus tests

In July, students in Antigonish expressed concern over returning back to campus, when the local St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) sent out a letter to its students saying it has decided to move forward with the controversial COVID-19 waiver.

The waiver aimed to absolve the school of any legal responsibility should students contract COVID-19 while attending classes or activities.

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A previous version of the waiver stated students will “waive any and all claims” they have or may have in the future against the school “due to any cause whatsoever, including negligence.”

“Even if the university does absolutely nothing to protect students and the community from COVID-19, there’s still no mechanism for pursuing legal action,” fifth-year student Will Fraser told Global News.






Students say St. Francis Xavier University waiver unacceptable


Students say St. Francis Xavier University waiver unacceptable

Last week, the province said each university’s and NSCC’s reopening plans have been approved by health officials and the advanced education department.

N.S. Premier Stephen McNeil announced that all post-secondary students coming to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic bubble will be required to take three coronavirus tests during their 14-day isolation period.

McNeil said all three tests must be completed, even if the results are negative.

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Some residents are raising concern over students being required to break their 14-day quarantine and head to a nearby testing centre.

“It seems a little counterintuitive when you think of self-isolation versus having to leave to go get a test,” Dalhousie student Bren Slater told Global News.

Read more:
Concerns raised about students leaving isolation for mandatory COVID-19 testing

The province said in a statement Tuesday that students heading to testing centres — which are now located either on campuses or nearby — aren’t allowed to make stops along the way.

“Consistent with our testing strategy throughout the province, you are allowed to go directly to the testing site for your appointment time and directly back to the place where you are self-isolating,” the statement read.

The government said it is also enhancing the border form for everyone — not just students — who arrives in the province from outside the Atlantic bubble.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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Victoria COVID-19 cases continue to drop, Daniel Andrews spruiks state of emergency extension, Sydney Marriott Hotel security guard fined, Australia death toll at 517


For a second day in a row, the total number of tests fell below 5,000 tests in a day, to a relatively low 4,4434 tests.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins announced the testing blitz and said that of the 70,000 tests – or 10,000 per day – the government wanted about 7,000 per day to be conducted in Auckland.

Hipkins said the dip in testing rates over the last two dates indicated testing fatigue had set in.

“It’s challenging to keep up this pace but it is doable,” Hipkins said.

“Please don’t relax now, we need to continue our testing effort.

“We haven’t quite got this cluster completely identified yet, we do need people to take that test when asked.”

Six more mobile testing units will be set up in Auckland and deployed to churches and schools.

In a change of policy, Hipkins said some asymptomatic people would now be tested too in a move designed to ensure the Auckland outbreak was fully identified.

As part of the effort to crack down on the Auckland outbreak, about 13,000 people working in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, and at the border, have been tested in recent weeks.

About 1.8 million Kiwis have now downloaded the country’s COVID trace app.



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Riverina restaurant owner and woman fined over separate breaches of Public Health Orders – 16 News


Police in the Riverina region have issued two Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) in the past 24 hours for non-compliance with COVID-19 Public Health Orders.

As part of proactive compliance operations, officers from Riverina Police District attended a restaurant on Fernleigh Road, Mount Austin, just before 7pm on Saturday (15 August 2020).

After speaking with the 39-year-old male owner, officers conducted a walk-through and established that a COVID Safety Plan had not been completed.

Further, the owner, who was also the chef, claimed to be the designated COVID marshal.

The owner was informed he would receive a $5000 PIN for non-compliance with the Public Health Orders, which was issued yesterday (Tuesday 18 August 2020).

In a separate and unrelated incident, officers from Riverina Police District have been conducting inquiries into suspected non-compliance of self-isolation directions since late last month.

On Saturday 25 July 2020, local police were contacted after a 25-year-old woman, who had arrived in Wagga Wagga from Victoria on Thursday 23 July 2020 on a valid permit, was reportedly not self-isolating.

Police conducted a number of inquiries, including repeat compliance checks, during which it was established she had not been self-isolating.

Officers advised the woman she would receive a $1000 PIN for fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to s7/8/9 – COVID-19 and reminded she must complete the full self-isolation period.

The woman was issued with the PIN yesterday (Tuesday 18 August 2020).

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.



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AFL 2020: Tom Lynch fined over two separate incidents against Gold Coast Suns


Punching in the AFL isn’t apparently as frowned upon as we’ve been led to believe. The league have in the past spoken about a crack down on punching in any form, but they’ve once again come up short.

Richmond’s Tom Lynch came under the microscope of the AFL’s Match Review Officer for two separate incidents following Monday night’s game against the Gold Coast Suns.

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The AFL said it would crack down on punching back in 2018 after West Coast’s Andrew Gaff struck Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw in a blow that broke the youngster’s jaw.

But once again they’ve decided not to put the foot down and another Richmond superstar will be free to line up for the team’s next game.

In the fourth quarter, Lynch left Suns defender Sam Collins momentarily hunched over before he took a mark inside 50 and kicked a crucial goal late in the contest.

Behind the goals footage showed Lynch swinging his right arm which connected to the midsection of Collins.

The AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian deemed the shot as intentional conduct with low impact and body contact, which results in only a $1000 fine.

It wasn’t the only shot however that came under the microscope with a second incident occurring in the third quarter when Lynch delivered jumper punches to Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts, but again he was only handed a $1000 sanction.

It’s the latest incident for Lynch who was fined for misconduct after shoving the head of Brisbane Lions defender Alex Witherden’s head into the ground during round 10.

RELATED: AFL world reacts as star doesn’t flinch

Melbourne great David Schwarz laid the boots into Lynch and his off the ball action.

“He’ll win goose of the year the way he’s going,” Schwarz said.

“I think what’s happened to Tom is he’s been told by someone at the Richmond Football Club ‘Tom, I want you to go out and be a bit more aggressive because I reckon you’re not showing enough bite.’

“I’d grab him by the throat if he was my opponent and just let it be known. Young Collins clearly didn’t enjoy it, but Lynch has been doing this for three or four weeks.”

Footage of Collins not flinching when Lynch pretended to throw his hands up drew widespread praise for the Sun and Schwarz said the Tigers forward should stop acting in a way that doesn’t suit who he is.

“It’s unnecessary because he’s a good mark, he’s a good kick, he knows how to play the game, but he’s not tough,” he said.

“He’s not a Barry Hall, he’s not a Plugger Lockett or a Derm who’s actually going to go the biff.

“If he keeps continuing to do it someone’s going to get him. Someone will line him up and we’re going to go ‘Guess what Tom? You probably deserved it.’

“Stop being a knucklehead, play the game and stop trying to be something you’re not.”

Lynch’s escape from a ban follows in the footsteps of teammate Dustin Martin being let off with a $1750 fine for striking Port Adelaide’s Tom Rockliff.

It was Martin’s second fine for striking in 2020 and left another Melbourne great in Garry Lyon slamming the AFL for not taking punching seriously.

“We’ve been told about this punching. These come into vogue and then they go out of vogue,” Lyon said on Fox Footy’s On The Couch.

“Dustin gives a little right (hand) to the neck (of Rockliff), so that’s a fine for Dustin. It’s the second fine for striking after this punch to the guts (on McDonald).

“The AFL, if you’re watching: You are condoning punching to the head and punching to the guts.

“So don’t tell us in any other way, because you’re not taking a stand and you’re not stamping out punching to the head. You are kidding yourself and don’t tell us any anything else either.”

Lyon accused the league of double standards after talking a big game, but letting the superstar off the hook.

“Don’t ever come back to us and tell us you’re taking striking seriously again as they did about a year or two ago,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.

“‘Oh, we want to stamp out striking, it’s a bad look for the game, it sends a really bad message’. That is disingenuous rot from the AFL.

“So, Dusty went for the third time in two years for striking on the weekend. Just punched (Rockliff) in the throat — and OK it wasn’t that hard, but is that what you want?

“If that was his first time then I can accept ‘not enough force’, but it’s the third time in two years for striking and he hasn’t missed a game.

“I’m not going to go on about it, but don’t ever come back and say, ‘Oh the look of the game is important to us and we want to stamp out striking’ because that is just rot. Unmitigated rot.”



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