Berry was freed to face the Cats after tribunal chair Jeff Gleeson determined that his contact to the eye region of Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver was not deliberate.
Berry fronted the tribunal claiming self defence in his tussle with Oliver during the heated finals clash, while the AFL argued that he’d made a “raking” motion that was not instinctive.
READ MORE: NRL comes down hard on star’s Queen slur
READ MORE: Eagles left fuming by star’s trade request
The 24-year-old told the tribunal that he feared he “might lose consciousness” if he didn’t attempt to get Oliver off him, as the Lions called in a neurosurgeon to back up the star midfielder.
The neurosurgeon, Dr Damian Amato from Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, explained the importance of Berry protecting himself in the tussle with Oliver’s right forearm pressuring the Lions star’s neck.
“The danger of that is obstruction of his airway and reducing oxygen supply to the brain,” Dr Amato said.
“It’s obvious from the footage he’s not moving in one single manner, but flailing all limbs to get Oliver off him and relieve pressure from his airway.
“He was protecting himself.”
Berry said he did not know where Oliver’s head was while “flailing” as he was pinned to the turf.
“At that point I didn’t have vision of where my hand was. I was trying to grab Clayton’s jumper and unfortunately grabbed his eye region,” Berry said.
“I remember not having my eyes on Oliver at all and was just trying to get him off.
“I’d describe it more as a flailing action. My legs are doing a similar thing.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!