Australia
Questions remain despite Beale text case closing
ESPN Staff
November 1, 2014
Australia's Kurtley Beale arrives for his disciplinary hearing, Sydney, October 24, 2014
Kurtley Beale was further fined by the ARU on Friday night © Getty Images
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The Australian Rugby Union has declared the Kurtley Beale text-messaging saga as case closed despite several questions remaining unanswered after the month long investigations. The ARU fined Beale a further $3000 (£1,650) for his in-flight altercation with former staffer Di Patston on Friday night and announced they would now be moving on from the issues despite questions surrounding the entire controversy and how it unfolded.

Following the in-flight incident, Ms Patston alleged Beale sent her two inappropriate text-messages for which Beale faced two charges at an independent code of conduct tribunal in Sydney last Friday and where he was fined $45,000 (£24,000) for the first but escaped punishment for the second due to a lack of evidence.

Eight text-messages - four from Patston's phone and four from Beale's phone - were released by the Daily Telegraph prior to the tribunal, however the ARU released a summary on Friday that stated Patston had provided screen shots of 11 text messages - six from Patston and five from Beale - with the ARU not releasing the contents of the extra three messages.

Following the final hearing on Friday Pulver told Fairfax Media "there has been no cover-up".

"We have resisted the temptation to speak in public throughout this process in order to preserve the integrity of the process. There are people's reputations at stake. There is a process that needs to be adhered to and our willingness to speak about it today is at the end of the process."

Pressed on why the ARU would not be pursuing who sent the second text message on June 9, Pulver said they could find no further evidence of the second text and that the phones involved "were unavailable".

"We don't have any further evidence relating to the second text message. If we have further evidence we will review that, but at this point we feel it is done."

"There is no conclusive evidence available to us as to whether the text existed. Beale's phone shows he only sent one [offensive] text message."

Pulver also told The Daily Telegraph that the ARU had been attempting to retrieve Ms Patston's phone for the tribunal, however Patston stated she had already handed the phone back to the ARU.

"We have been actively trying to get Di's phone ever since this broke," Pulver told The Dialy Telegraph. "There was a phone relevant to the June timetable, which she claims was handed back to the ARU. Our sponsor is Samsung, so we occasionally upgrade phones. We have no record of it being handed back, so we continue asking for the original phone.

"We are also asking her for her current phone, because it would still be relevant. On multiple occasions she refused to provide it."

Both Ms Patston and former Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie were asked to attend the hearing on Friday night with neither agreeing to front up. Ms Patston provided a medical certificate.

Beale remains available for the November Tests but he has not been called up to join the squad in Europe.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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