Collision was ‘ terrifying’, inquest hears
FRANCIS Molo knocked James Ackerman to the ground with a shoulder charge before kneeing him, picking him up by the collar and giving him a shove, an inquest has heard.
Ackerman’s family switched off his life support two days after he suffered injuries from the tackle by the then Norths Devils player during an Intrust Super Cup match in June 2015. An inquest yesterday heard from Ackerman’s Sunshine Coast Falcons teammate, Ryan Hansen, who described the sound of the onfield collision as “terrifying”.
He told the inquest Molo’s arm was tucked into his hip and he had “turned a little bit side on” as he hit the forward.
As the father- of- two lay injured on the ground, Hansen said he saw Molo knee him, pick him up by the collar and give him a “little shove”. But Molo’s barrister Peter Lane questioned Hansen as to why he had not included those details in his statement to the inquest.
Another teammate described seeing an attempt by Molo to shoulder charge Ackerman ( right) earlier that match.
“( The tackle) wasn’t completed and play was continued and there was no penalty,” he said. “I distinctly remember going to the referee – as I was the captain at the time – and asking why there wasn’t a penalty for that.”
Members of Ackerman’s family left the Coroner’s Court while footage of the match was played. Molo, who last week signed with the Townsville Blackhawks, was hit with a nine- match suspension after the Queensland Rugby League judiciary found him guilty of a “grade five” shoulder charge.
The inquest continues.