Criminal Proceedings – Race Betting

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Our Associate Solicitor, Nick Tehan, defended Mr JA in the Harness Racing Victoria Appeals and Disciplinary Board in December 2015. He had been charged in relation to placing a $100 trifecta bet on behalf of formerly licensed trainer/driver on a race conducted at Mildura on in November 2014, a race in which the driver/trainer was competing in and therefore was unable to bet on. In relation to their own conduct with respect to the lead up to and running of this race, the driver/trainer and his father, appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 3 September 2015 where they were convicted and sentenced to a Community Corrections Order for an offence against Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958. In October 2015, they were also disqualified by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) for a period of 12 years in relation to the matter.

Mr JA pleaded guilty to the allegations. Mr Tehan, on behalf of Mr JA made it clear that he did not have any involvement with or knowledge of any arrangements between parties relevant to tactics to be adopted during the running of the race. Mr Tehan stressed that Mr JA had provided full co-operation and assistance to the Harness Racing Victoria Stewards, did not play any part with respect to any matters relating to the manipulation of the actual race, indicated at an early stage that he would be pleading guilty, has been a licensed person since 2004, an owner for a longer period and had displayed genuine remorse for his involvement in the matter and for the damage that had been caused to an industry that he had loved for a long period of time. Mr Tehan tendered seventeen personal references supplied in support of Mr JA outlining his significant contributions to the community and the remorse he had demonstrated.

The Board imposed an effective total disqualification of 18 months from involvement in the Harness Racing industry. Subsequent negotiations with Harness Racing Victoria have resulted in Mr JA an engineer and grape harvester, being permitted to perform engineering works on licensed harness racing properties when required, and to continue to perform grape harvesting work for harness racing trainers during the disqualification period.

Our client was very pleased with this result. This outcome demonstrates how careful preparation and presentation of your case can result in a better outcome.