The Queensland Reds’ posted a statement this afternoon about the revelations regarding Karmichael Hunt. In that statement the following point is made:
Karmichael has not been arrested or charged. He has received a notice to appear.
Either the Queensland Reds have not been furnished with the Notice to Appear or they are receiving very poor legal advice because that statement is patently wrong!
A simple search of the Queensland Department of Justice website reveals that there are four ways one can be made to go to Court (in a criminal context) including the receipt by the defendant of a Notice to Appear. The page then goes on to describe the Notice to Appear thusly:
After being arrested, instead of placing you in custody, the police might give you a notice to appear and let you go home. They can give this to you when they charge you or will mail it to you. A Notice to Appear is a written document that tells you what you have been charged with and when and where you have to go to court.
For those who are further interested here is the link: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/courts-and-tribunals/going-to-court/defendants/when-to-go-to-court
Hunt, clearly, would not have received his Notice to Appear unless he was charged with an offence (or in this case four offences). To suggest otherwise is a nonsense plain and simple!
The Reds have, as an outsider looking in, fumbled their response to this from the get go. From the original statement which suggested that they first found out about the charge in the press through a statement that is not only legally wrong but also outlines a decision only to stand down Hunt for this coming weekend’s fixture the way this has been handled by the QRU has been amateur hour!
Here’s hoping the QRU’s response to this very serious issue improves. At the very least they have to get their facts correct. They also have to, as a minimum, suspend Hunt indefinitely. Any other approach is a joke.