Day At The Track

Hearing adjourned

10:16 AM 15 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Nathan Jack, harness racing Mark Pitt, harness racing Lisa Bartley, harness racing
Nathan Jack
Shepparton News Photo
Mark Pitt
Shepparton News Photo
Lisa Bartley outside Shepparton Magistrates' Court
Shepparton News Photo

Three people alleged to be involved in a harness racing fixing scandal at Cobram more than two years ago will have to wait until next year to find out the outcome of the case against them.

Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley yesterday faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court for the 13th and final day of a contested hearing.

Magistrate John Murphy decided to receive final written submissions from the prosecution and defence out of court.

‘‘I’m satisfied there is a case to answer against all of the accused,’’ he said.

Yesterday, Gary Hevey attempted to re-open the prosecution’s case after taking instructions from higher authorities.

‘‘A situation has arisen, I have been asked to re-open the prosecution case,’’ he said.

Mr Murphy ruled Victoria Police telephone intercepts admissible this week.

‘‘Those instructing me have taken a different view,’’ Mr Hevey said.

‘‘They say I should re-open the prosecution case for utilising telephone intercepts post-offending. (I) propose for your honour to rule admissible the telephone intercepts and material post-offending.’’

Mr Jack’s lawyer Anthony Lewis said none of the telephone intercepts were ‘‘admissible to incriminating conduct’’.

‘‘It will prolong the proceeding,’’ he argued.

Mr Murphy agreed, saying it would lengthen the case, querying the need for the telephone intercepts as the crown already had numerous text messages admitted into evidence.

‘‘(What is) the relevance of this further material? It would extend the case by at least one or two days,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t allow the prosecution to re-open the case.’’

The court case was adjourned about noon yesterday, with a ruling set to be made on the three accused in April.


Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley pleaded not guilty to charges of engaging in, facilitating and possessing knowledge and/or information about conduct that corrupts a betting outcome.

The charges relate to an allegedly fixed race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, after which an investigation was launched into the tactics adopted during the event and information provided to Harness Racing Victoria on the stabling arrangements of a horse.

Of the accused, only Mr Jack and Mr Pitt took part in the race.

Prosecutors allege Mr Jack, driving Tooram Lad, allowed Airbournemagic, driven by Mr Pitt, to win the race.

The court has heard from representatives who have spoken about betting patterns before the race, while the father of Ms Bartley was excused from giving evidence against his daughter.

Earlier in the hearing, Harness Racing Victoria evidence was thrown out and not used during the hearing as it was found to be involuntarily obtained.

The hearing started on Monday, November 27, in front of Magistrate John Murphy and entered its third week on Monday.

This week, charges against previous co-accused Ms Turnbull were dismissed.

By Hayden Thomson


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