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Manly disappointed that Brett Stewart continues to be vilified

The Manly Sea Eagles are bitterly disappointed that after two years spent clearing his name, Brett Stewart continues to be vilified.
Manly disappointed that Brett Stewart continues to be vilified
by NRL

The Manly Sea Eagles are bitterly disappointed that after two years spent clearing his name, Brett Stewart continues to be vilified.

Stewart continues to be dragged into the limelight every time another player allegedly misbehaves. This is not acceptable. Because of this continued misinformation the Sea Eagles are compelled to issue the following statement:

The Manly Sea Eagles are astounded at recent statements made by the National Rugby League and some media outlets as to the alleged behaviour of Brett Stewart at the club's launch at the Manly Wharf Bar exactly two years ago.

Whilst nobody denies the right of the NRL to take action in an appropriate case, it is time to set the record straight about what really did happen in the case of Brett Stewart.

Firstly, it is true that the NRL publicly stated that it was suspending Brett Stewart over his conduct earlier in the evening on Friday, March 6 2009 and not because of the allegations of sexual assault.

The Manly Club refutes the claim that there was clear evidence of misconduct by Brett Stewart at the Season Launch. Licensing police viewed CCTV of the Wharf Bar and no breaches were found, nor were any charges laid against the licensee for breaches of Licensing Laws.

Anyone who attended the trial would be aware that it was a substantial part of the prosecution's case that Brett Stewart was affected by alcohol on the evening in question. A great deal of evidence, some from witnesses and some in the form of CCTV footage, was put before the jury by the prosecution in order to attempt to establish that fact. It is reasonable to assume, in light of the verdict that the jury completely rejected the suggestion that Brett was drunk at the relevant time.

In hindsight in light of the NRL's most recent decisions in similar matters the fact that Brett was suspended for four weeks and the club was fined $100,000 would appear grossly unfair.

This club doesn't take any issue with the recent decision of the NRL in the case of Benji Marshall. Allowing the legal process to take its course, without intervention, is the correct decision to take. The problem the Manly Club and its supporters have is that the same support was not given to Brett Stewart.

The club is adamant that Brett Stewart is not guilty of anything other than being an outstanding citizen and a great footballer.


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