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Thomas fined for umpire abuse

Thomas fined for umpire abuse

DALE Thomas’ heated abuse of boundary umpire Michael Barlow has cost the Carlton veteran a $7500 fine.

Thomas pleaded guilty and testified that he rang Barlow earlier on Tuesday to apologise for the abuse.

It comes a week after the AFL fined Sydney co-captain Dale Rampe $5000 after he was caught telling a field umpire that he was talking like a little girl.

Thomas was referred directly to Tuesday’s tribunal hearing, with no option of an early plea, and was at the mercy of the three-man tribunal jury when it came to a penalty.

The Blues utility was furious at Barlow in the third quarter of Sunday’s hefty loss to GWS after the umpire warned Giants players that they were about to breach the AFL’s new 6-6-6 rule.

Thomas mistakenly believed it wasn’t Barlow’s place to warn the Giants that they had one player too many in their forward line before a centre bounce.

The guilty plea meant Barlow did not have to attend the hearing and the umpire submitted a statement.

“He (Thomas) turned in my direction and said ‘you can’t tell them that, you can’t tell them that d***head’,” the statement read.

“I didn’t respond. (He) kept yelling and said ‘you’re a f***ing cheat, you can’t tell them that, you’re a f***ing cheat’. Again, I did not respond, but took a mental note about what he had said.

Thomas’ counsel Marcus Clarke QC argued it should be a $5000 fine, given his guilty plea and contrition.

But the jury of former players Shane Wakelin, Paul Williams and Wayne Henwood took just four minutes to agree with AFL advocate Jeff Gleeson QC on the punishment.

“I’m extremely apologetic for the way in which I acted, the words in which I used and the way I spoke to umpire Barlow,” Thomas said after the hearing.

“I reached out to him to issue that apology. I spoke to him on the phone and he accepted that quite well.

“It was tremendously unfortunate that I put myself in that position, I’m really disappointed in myself for doing that.

“Umpires are an amazing part of our game. Without them, we wouldn’t have a game. For me to do that, as an experienced player, it does not set a good example … there will be no more of this in the future.”

© AAP 2019