The independent Judicial Officer, Christopher Quinlan QC (England) heard evidence and submissions from Hayman who accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but argued that it warranted a yellow card and not a red card. The player was accompanied by Toulon Team Manager, Tom Whitford and legal representative John O'Donnell. The Judicial Officer also heard evidence and submissions from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor.
The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint and found that the offence warranted a red card, and employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(j), he determined that the offence was at the mid-range entry point of six (6) weeks. In reference to the IRB's directive on this pattern of offending (tip tackles), he then added a further one (1) week as a deterrent.
Having then considered the mitigating factors, including the player's admission of culpability, good record and character, conduct before the hearing and genuine expressions of remorse which he demonstrated immediately after the tackle on the pitch, the Judicial Officer allowed a reduction of three (3) weeks, before imposing a suspension of four (4) weeks.
In light of the forthcoming off-season, the suspension will run for the remainder of the Top 14 championship season, from Monday, 21 May up to and including Sunday, 10 June, namely three weeks. The balance, one week, will commence at the start of Toulon's 2012/13 season. On the basis that the Judicial Officer was told Toulon's first pre-season fixture is scheduled for 27 July, the balance will run from 26 July to 1 August 2012 inclusive. Hayman will be free to play on Thursday, 2 August 2012.
Law 10.4 (j) Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player's head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player's feet are off the ground.
Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure, Law 10.4 (j) carries the following penalties: Low End: 3 weeks; Mid Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 10+ to 52 weeks.
i) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by ERC for all Heineken Cup and all televised Amlin Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted a citing including acts that may have received a yellow card..
b) For such matches Clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game to make a citing. In exceptional circumstances this deadline can be extended.
d) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, may forward the submitted Citing to a Citing Officer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the citing to progress.
e) The Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
ii) Disciplinary Hearing
a) Citing hearings will be heard by an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable. Until the hearing a cited player is eligible to play in ERC tournaments.
b) The independent Judicial Officer is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) ERC's Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against the player.
d) Both parties to the hearing (ERC and the player) have the right to appeal decisions of the independent Disciplinary Hearing. Appeals must be lodged within 3 business days of receiving the full written decision from the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Committee.