FORMER Wallabies captain and ACT Brumbies player David Pocock is good at avoiding penalties on the rugby field, and has now done the same in court after pleading guilty to a charge over his protest at Maules Creek coal mine.
Pocock chained himself to a digger for 10 hours with local farmer Rick Laird, and was later arrested and charged with entering and staying on enclosed land without lawful excuse and hindering the working of mining equipment.
A representative of Gunnedah Local Court said these charges were withdrawn and replaced with a lesser charge of hiding tools, clothing, or property to unlawfully influence a person.
"They were both guilty pleas (for David and Emma Pocock), and were convicted but no penalty," the court representative said.
The court ruled a Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, she said.
This allows a court to proceed without a conviction, and find a person guilty of an offence while making an order that the relevant charge be dismissed.
Pocock has previously stated he joined the protest to help support the community and local farmers who were opposed to the project, and to held further the conversation about climate change and coal.