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Live blog: NRL Judiciary - Waerea-Hargreaves, Levi not guilty

Live coverage of the NRL judiciary hearings for Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Danny Levi.

Roosters prop Waerea-Hargreaves was found not guilty of a dangerous contact charge and is free to play the Panthers this week.

Refresh this page for regular updates during the night.

8.37pm: Danny Levi has been found not guilty at the judiciary and avoids a fine.

8.08pm: The judiciary panel is now deliberating over Levi's charge.

8pm: Levi's lawyer Nick Ghabar reiterates that Levi was aiming to "alleviate the risk to himself, which he's entitled to do in those circumstances".

He says that "we often talk in reverse of a player being vulnerable … looking from the perspective of culpability from a player charged with an offence" – but Levi was himself at risk of injury as Dearden came towards him with an "obviously high" arm.

What ended up happening, he claims, was "incidental to what was occurring from player Dearden himself.

"The position of player Dearden's arm being that high is clearly relevant to the question of whether the contact is dangerous."

Judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew is now instructing the panel and recapping the arguments.

7.47pm: Making his submission, McGrath says that while it is "all very well to use the forearm as a bumper … in those circumstances, with the upward trajectory, what we see is careless play".

He argues there was "an unacceptable risk of injury" to Dearden.

"[There is an] upward trajectory of the forearm and elbow, it glances off the shoulder and then goes straight into the throat area of player Dearden," McGrath says.

7.36pm: Levi is giving evidence under questioning from his lawyer Nick Ghabar.

He claims he raised his forearm "in order to protect myself from [Dearden] making contact to my head", adding, "I've had to raise my arm to deflect his arm away".

The dummy-half says he doesn't remember making contact with Dearden's head and merely "brushed past him", noting, "the ref let it play on".

However, he recalls being struck high by Dearden: "I thought I may have been able to get a penalty or something out of it," he admits.

Levi's eyes are shown to be closed before contact, which the Bronco suggests is a "natural reaction when you see someone's arm coming across your face".

NRL prosecutor Peter McGrath puts it to Levi that he wasn't, in fact, raising his arm to protect himself, but the player holds firm and denies that he clenched his fist.

7.18pm: The hearing for Danny Levi is underway as the Broncos hooker bids to escape a fine. Levi has pleaded not guilty to grade one dangerous contact stemming from an incident where he used his forearm as a bumper when running the ball at Cowboys halfback Tom Dearden.

7.07pm: The verdict is in: not guilty. Waerea-Hargreaves is free to play this week.

6.55pm: The panel is now deliberating.

6.45pm: "I ask what is it that's careless, what has he done wrong there? He's not being careless; his involvement and his execution of his involvement was reasonable," McLeod continues.

"The onus of proof is on judiciary counsel ... player Waerea-Hargreaves should be found not guilty," he says before eventually concluding.

Judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew is now recapping the arguments and instructing the panel.

6.32pm: Waerea-Hargreaves's lawyer James McLeod brands the incident as an "unremarkable", "legitimate tackle" that was "definitely not a cannonball" because Brown was still making ground.

McLeod declares that JWH contacted Brown's "left hip area or upper thigh on the ball carrier … clearly not knee or knee joint, clearly not marginally above the knee or knee joint".

With Brown making post-contact metres as he backed upfield, McLeod argues that it was entirely reasonable for his client to become involved in the tackle.

"You don't get a 'spearing down into the knee area' - you get player Waerea-Haregreaves slipping down to make a legs tackle," McLeod says.

"The ball-carrier was still progressing up the field … this tackle was not completed. Mr McGrath was wrong when he said the ball-carrier was 'pretty much marking time, marching on the spot'.

"This is not an example of a tackle being complete … and a third man in coming in unnecessarily.

"So, what does the evidence actually reveal? … it makes good the propositions that this is not dangerous contact and it's not careless."

He notes that Brown was uninjured.

Waerea-Hargreaves charged for hit on Brown

6.19pm: In his submission, NRL prosecutor Peter McGrath describes Waerea-Haregreaves's tackle as including "a spearing-down motion towards the knee" at moderate force.

Claiming that Brown's progress was "pretty much" halted by Roosters defenders Victor Radley and Sam Walker, McGrath says Waerea-Hargreaves then created an unacceptable risk of injury.

Even if he had "good intentions to clean up the tackle and lock the legs together in an acceptable way and bring player Brown to the ground, " McGrath says, "the manner in which he effected that was careless".

McGrath submits that JWH put "pressure on the knee joint" of Brown having initially hit him "above the knee" before slipping down his leg. According to the prosecutor, he "could have taken a little more care, a little more time" to make a safer tackle.

"He failed in his duty of care," he says.

6.04pm: After some technical difficulties for panel member Tony Puletua, Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves's hearing has started.

Waerea-Hargreaves is aiming to avoid a one-week suspension by having a grade-one dangerous contact charge quashed.

The veteran enforcer, who is being represented by James McLeod, was cited for spearing in at the legs of Nathan Brown as the Eels lock struggled with two other defenders. Peter McGrath is the NRL prosecutor.

6pm: The schedule for the hearings is:

6pm – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters)
7.30pm – Danny Levi (Broncos)

The judiciary panel consists of Tony Puletua,  Bob Lindner and Sean Garlick

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