Tolofua was shown a second yellow card, resulting in a red card, for the alleged dangerous tackle by referee, Leighton Hodges (Wales).
The independent Judicial Officer, Roger Morris (Wales), heard evidence and submissions by video conference from Tolofua, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Toulouse Director of Rugby, Guy Novès, and Toulouse President, René Bouscatel. Submissions were also heard from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor.
The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint and found that Tolofua had carried out a dangerous tackle on his opponent. Employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(j), he determined that the offence was at the mid-range entry point of eight (8) weeks.
In line with the current IRB deterrent regarding dangerous tackles, the Judicial Officer added a further two (2) weeks. He then considered Tolofua's clean disciplinary record, his youth and inexperience and decided in mitigation to reduce the suspension by four (4) weeks - 50 per cent of the eight (8) week entry point - before imposing a suspension of six (6) weeks.
Tolofua will be free to play on Monday, 3 December 2012. Both ERC and the player have the right to appeal the decision.
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: 4 weeks; Mid Range: 8 weeks; Top End: 12+ to 52 weeks. Note that under the new 'IRB Sanctions for Foul Play' table that was introduced this season, the entry point for sanctions for tip tackles was increased.
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 red card.
b) For such matches clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 26 hours of the start of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the match to make a citing. In certain 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) Red Cards
a) The case of any player sent off in Heineken Cup or Amlin Challenge Cup games shall be adjudicated by an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable.
b) Until the hearing the player is ineligible to play in any tournament.
(iii) Disciplinary Hearing
a) The independent Judicial Officer is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
b) ERC's Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against the player.
c) 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 working days of receiving the full written decision of the independent Judicial Officer.
d) The full written decision of the independent Judicial Officer will be available on www.ercrugby.com/disciplinenews when the disciplinary process is complete
e) For IRB recommended sanctions for offences committed within the playing enclosure go to www.irb.com