29.09.2010 CASELA PARK - ANDREW SCUTTS REPORTS FOR THE RACING POST
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
CASELA PARK - A LETHAL CONCOCTION OF BLOODHORSE AND LEGAL ILLITERACY
INJUSTICE SLAUGHTERS CASELA PARK AND ALL CONNECTIONS. CONTINUED.
RACING POST REPORT BY ANDREW SCUTTS: "BHA DEFENDS DECISION TO USE QC IN CASELA PARK INQUIRY."
THE BHA yesterday defended its decision to use a solicitor to present its case against Eamon Tyrrell and Jason Behan, arguing it was to late to change tack when realising the trainer and jockey would not be legally represented at last weeks hearing.
Tyrrell and Behan were found guilty of deliberately preventing a horse from winning- the first such instance of its type in Britain for nearly 20 years – and await their fate knowing that the maximum penalty is a five- year disqualification .
The disadvantage of not being able to afford a solicitor or barrister was underlined by Tyrrell and Behan during last Wednesday’s hearing, while yesterday Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the National Trainers Federation, described legal representation in such a scenario as “absolutely essential”.
In Ireland, should a trainer or a jockey not be legally represented at an inquiry, the Turf Club reciprocates. The BHA follows that policy, but did not last week, when the disciplinary panel conducted the hearing into Casela Park’s Newcastle run last month.
BHA spokesman Paul Struthers explained: “We’d normally reciprocate but found out only on Monday that Tyrrell and Behan weren’t going to be represented.
“We felt we could not change tack at that stage. We had already incurred costs and 24 hours was too late notice for someone internally to prep and present the case. If we had known all along that they were not going to be presented, it’s more than possible the case would have been presented by a member of the internal team. I don’t believe a delay (of the hearing) was requested.”
Struthers said the defendants’ lack of representation was not a critical factor in the disciplinary panel finding them in breach of the rules “as this was strictly a running and riding case, and the video evidence is damning”.
However, Tyrrell and Behan described themselves as “lambs to the slaughter”, after choosing not to be legally represented on the basis of costs - £18,000 according to the trainer.
Jim Kavanagh chief executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers’ Association said: “We don’t have the finances to provide legal advise to trainers, but back them in whatever way we can.
“ I did speak to Eamon before the case, and know him well. It’s astounding he could loose his livelihood over it. The BHA used an anvil to crack a nut in employing a QC to prosecute this case.
“What chance would anyone have in Eamon and Jason’s position? The cost of legal representation are prohibitive and this ended up like an 11-a -side football team taking on a five-a-side team.
COMMENT J MARGARET CLARKE FOR TURFCALL
RIP OFF BRITAIN.
The British Legal Justice System is geared to suit the rich and privileged, the only ones able to afford the "Rip Off Legal Fees."
The British Legal Justice System needs to be made available for all.
“What happened doesn’t do racing any good.”
Arnold, Kavanagh ‘s counter - part in Britain, said yesterday: “We provide free legal advice and representation at inquiries up to a certain level (of funding).
“Legal costs are a problem, but it’s absolutely essential to have representation in a hearing like last week’s. The system is so legalised now, and the BHA can provide reams of evidence for prosecution .
“It’s essential for a trainer or jockey to be fully represented, with professional legal representation to protect their interests.”
Kevin Darley, chief executive of The Professional Jockeys’ Association , said: “All our members are covered (for legal representation) through our group insurance scheme.
“What happened with this hearing is not a scenario that would occur with a member of the PJA.
“They would have a solicitor in such a hearing, the main ones we use being Andrew Chalk of Withy King, and Rory Mac Neice of Ashfords – they are well up to speed with rules and regulations .”
Darley, who confirmed the insurance scheme would cover a member at a Turf Club hearing, added: “I’d say it would b better to have legal representation.” END
Labels: Rip off Britain marches on