If you thought your opinions, thoughts and usually flippant messages on Facebook were just a bit of harmless fun, guess again.
GRNSW Stewards were so concerned they convened a Stewards Inquiry and tendered evidence in the form of the posting displayed on Facebook on 26th July 2009.
Faced with little choice, and in light of the damning evidence young Miss Cuneo pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 86 (f) in that she published offensive language in relation to a Steward.
Now this is where it gets just a little bit silly. GRNSW Stewards fined Ellen the sum of $220, equivalent to two penalty units in NSW; and gave her a 6 month disqualification, suspended for 12 months on the condition she does not reoffend.
Fair dinkum, she’s a young girl using the technology of the day to post an off-the-cuff and ill considered message. She could’ve started a greyhound in a race, got a positive swab and received a lesser penalty. She could’ve been involved in a physical fight, or worse…an “incident”; with a track official and received a similar penalty. 6 months, suspended or not suspended is still a harsh penalty in my opinion, and gives the impression the Steward concerned might just have been acting a little “precious”.
Now we are not condoning in any way shape or form, the abuse of stewards, but really. A simple phone call and a bit of a warning to a young industry participant would’ve probably done the job quite satisfactorily.
Not surprisingly, Ellen has now made her Facebook profile private.
Oh and she had to provide the aggrieved steward with a written apology within 7 days of her inquiry. I can’t recall any industry person ever having to provide a written apology to the industry or a to a person, no matter how serious their crime.
Poor old Rodney Potter would’ve got writers cramp!