Our Associate Solicitor, Nick Tehan, defended Mr JA regarding race betting. The matter took place in the Harness Racing Victoria Appeals and Disciplinary Board in December 2015. Police had charged Mr JA with placing a $100 trifecta bet. He had done this on behalf of formerly licensed trainer/driver on a race in Mildura in November 2014. The driver/trainer was competing in this race and therefore was unable to bet on it.
The driver/trainer and his father appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 3 September 2015. The Court convicted and sentenced them to a Community Corrections Order for an offence against Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958. In October 2015,Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) also disqualified them for a period of 12 years in this race betting matter.
A guilty plea, remorse, and a good outcome
Our client pleaded guilty to the allegations. Mr Tehan, on behalf of Mr JA, made it clear that Mr JA did not have any involvement with or knowledge of any arrangements between parties about race tactics. Mr Tehan stressed that Mr JA had fully co-operated with and assisted the Harness Racing Victoria Stewards. Our client did not play any part in any manipulation of the race. He also indicated at an early stage that he would be pleading guilty. Further, he has been a licensed person since 2004, and an owner for a longer period. Mr JA displayed genuine remorse for his involvement in the matter and for the damage to an industry that he loved. Mr Tehan tendered 17 personal references in support of Mr JA. These outlined his significant contributions to the community and how he had demonstrated his remorse.
The Board imposed an effective total disqualification of 18 months from involvement in the Harness Racing industry. Harness Racing Victoria, after negotiations allowed Mr JA, an engineer and grape harvester, to perform engineering works on licensed harness racing properties. It also allowed him 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 for race betting matters.