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The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) yesterday considered applications lodged by Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt for review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board made on 16 November 2018. The HRV RADB Board decision, to dismiss an appeal against the determination of the HRV Stewards to invoke Australian Harness Racing Rules 183(c), 183(d) and 15(d) after Ms Bartley, Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), can be viewed here. After hearing the submissions of legal counsel for all parties, Senior Member Ian Proctor reserved his decision, which is expected to be handed down in the coming days.     Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today handed down its decision in relation to an appeal lodged by licensed persons Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt against the decision of the HRV Stewards to invoke Australian Harness Racing Rules 183(c), 183(d) and 15(d) after they were found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The HRV RAD Board considered submissions from all parties on 9 November 2018, and today determined that the appeal be dismissed. Therefore, from midnight on 23 November 2018, all licenses held by Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt are suspended, any horses owned or trained by them are prevented from racing or trialling and they are excluded from attending any racecourse. The full decision of the HRV RAD Board can be viewed here.   Harness Racing Victoria 

On 7 September 2018, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards suspended the licenses of Mr Nathan Jack, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Lisa Bartley after they had been found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958).  These charges relate to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley were also prevented from racing or trialling any horses owned by them and excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. Parties were provided with the opportunity to provide submissions to Stewards by 5pm on 17 September 2018, as to why these restrictions should not remain in place pending the completion of the Stewards investigation.  Following requests from the parties legal counsels Stewards have allowed an extension for the lodging of submissions, with them now due by 5pm on 20 September 2018.  The provisional restrictions placed upon Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley shall remain in place pending final determination by the Stewards. As the Magistrates Court decision regarding the criminal charges remains subject to an appeal period, HRV will not be making any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

Victorian harness racing licenced participants Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley were today found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958), which relates to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack was found guilty of charges relating to Race 4 at Cobram on 22 June, 2015, and the training arrangements of Airbournemagic leading up to the event. Mr Pitt was found guilty of a charge relating to the aforementioned race. Ms Bartley was found guilty of charges relating to the training arrangements of Airbournemagic. Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were convicted and fined $20,000 and $15,000 respectively. Ms Bartley was fined $5,000 without a conviction being recorded.  In light of the parties being found guilty Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley have had all harness racing licences suspended. Horses owned by them are prevented from racing or trialling and all three have been excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. These restrictions were imposed immediately pending submissions being provided as to why these embargoes should not remain in place until the completion of a HRV investigation. A final decision with respect to these embargoes is expected to be announced by the HRV Integrity Department by 5pm on 19 September 2018. As today’s decision of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is subject to an appeal period, and all parties being required to appear before HRV for further proceedings, HRV will not make any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

Five-year-old harness racing gelding Benji Mara ran one of the quickest 1690m trips on the track in recent times in winning a C1 Only class race last week at Shepparton. By the Cambest stallion Lis Mara, Benji Mara didn’t get any favours — forced to race outside the pacemaker To The Rescue during the run — but still powered away from his rivals in the home stretch in a 1:54.7 mile rate. The track record for the distance was set by Highview Ruler at 1:53.9 in December last year. Benji Mara, a former New Zealander, trained by Amanda Turnbull and driven by Lisa Bartley, was having his fourth start this campaign in which he had placed at his previous three starts. His win provided Bartley with the first leg of a driving double. She also won on the Isabel Walsh-trained Pow Wow Bromac in a C2 Only class race. Pow Wow Bromac, who led all the way, is becoming something of a Shepparton specialist with his four Australian wins — he had one win on debut at Addington in NZ at his first start in March last year — all achieved on the Shepparton track where he has also been runner-up three times. Walberon wisecrack Trots caller Lachy McIntosh couldn’t resist making a comment when describing a claiming race at Maryborough meeting last Friday. Pointing out to viewers and listeners one of the pacers in the race, Walberon, was a 15-year-old he commented he’ll be able to get his Ls next year. Rising 16-year-old or not Walberon ran a bold race and finished third, 12m from the winner Racer in a 1:55.3 mile rate. Walberon was having his 203rd start which have produced 22 wins and 51 placings for more than $180,000 in prizemoney. Birthday for Tennaya Strong betting support for Tennaya was vindicated when the Donna Castles-trained eight-year-old mare led her rivals a merry dance in a C1 Only class event last week at Shepparton. Tennaya, driven by Castles, firmed into a $2.80 chance on the tote from more than twice that price and once urged to the front by Castles early from barrier four over the 2190m trip was never seriously challenged. While Tennaya’s last win was 34 starts ago in December 2015 at Swan Hill, the daughter of Lombo Mandingo had run three fifths at her previous three starts to indicate another win was beckoning. Punters obviously thought so too. Tennaya was having her 99th start and it was win number 11 with 35 placings which have produced more than $60000 in prizemoney. Model struts his stuff Laura Crossland kept the winning momentum she has enjoyed this year going last week at Shepparton to keep her among the leading Victorian trainers. Crossland produced trotter The Male Model and with a concession claim for reinsman Darby McGuigan notched his seventh win and his fifth for Crossland in 18 starts. The four-year-old son of Muscle Mass has won four of last six starts under Crossland’s guidance. The Male Model is from the Sundon mare Ashley Sunset, who had just one start for one win, and has left another smart trotter Phoebe Sunset who won 12 races in NSW and Queensland. Crossland has her name up there with the top trainers in the state. Joy in the Village Pacing mare Village Encounter put in arguably a career best run to land an early Christmas present for Bunbartha horseman John Newberry and his reinsman son Matthew last week at Shepparton. Despite a quick getaway from a wide front row barrier draw the four-year-old daughter of Village Jolt was forced to park outside the pacemaker Slice Of Life for the entirety of the race and audaciously kicked clear of her rivals in the home stretch for what turned out to be an easy win in the finish. Village Encounter’s mile rate of 1:58.3 included a sharp 56.7 last half and the win was her fourth from 14 starts. A Penny to be had Trial goers at Kyabram the previous Sunday could have easily supported five-year-old mare Gallifrey Penny who opened her winning account in a C0 Only class race last week at Shepparton. Gallifrey Penny led her rivals a merry dance in the Kyabram trial to further confirm she was on the improve after a cheeky effort at Echuca at her previous start. Trained by Swedish horsewoman and now Kyabram-based Kati Gunn, Gallifrey Penny was driven to an all-the-way win from barrier four by Darby McGuigan, providing him with a driving double. He also scored on The Male Model. Although a five-year-old, Gallifrey Penny, who is by Sutter Hanover, was having just her seventh trip to the races since she started racing in October. Gallifrey Penny’s dam, Penny The Pussycat, was an extra-smart mare who won 17 of 32 starts in Queensland and $85000 in prizemoney in the 1990s. Jay Bee Flex wins Veteran Elmore trainer Jimmy Beecroft got an early Christmas present when the trotting mare he prepares Jay Bee Flex won at Maryborough last week to notch her fifth win. Reinswoman Ellen Tormey was able to step the daughter of Federal Flex to the front and then take a sit on the favourite Aldebaran Midnite, a trotter formerly trained by Neville Welsh at Elmore and now in the Andy Gath camp. In the run to the judge Jay Bee Flex, who was a $7 chance had no trouble running down Aldebaran Midnite with Jeter filling the minor placing. Jay Bee Flex had had her previous win four starts ago at Bendigo on November 5 and has prizemoney earnings of more than $35000. Winners far and wide Dual state trainer Amanda Turnbull produced a training treble in NSW and a double in Victoria on Boxing Day as well as driving a winner on her home track at Bathurst. At Ballarat Turnbull struck with The Faithful in the $20000 Lightning Mile feature, upstaging the likes of Moonrock and Tee Cee Bee Macray. She also won a C0 Only class race with Ellmers Hoofing It with both pacers driven to victory by Shepparton horseman David Moran. At Leeton Lisa Bartley drove the Turnbull-trained Benji Mara and Kenrick to wins, while Mark Pitt brought up the hat-trick for Turnbull on Aintnobettor Euroa horseman Cameron Maggs also enjoyed success at Leeton, scoring a well-deserved win with Roll One Over, a 17/1 chance. One El of a time Elmore Harness Racing Club created history on Boxing Day when it staged its first TAB meeting. Club officials headed by president Eddie Mullane and secretary-treasurer Cliff Powell were pleased with the response from trainers with enough nominations for an eight-race card in one the busiest racing periods for the year. Elmore was to have TAB coverage for the first time last year when it staged its first meeting since 2005, but it was withdrawn at the last minute. Powell admitted it wasn’t plain sailing getting harness racing back at Elmore, which has been a harness stronghold down the years. ‘‘Before we held our meeting in 2005 we were told that we would be finished as a club staging meetings due to the rationalisation of Victorian tracks at that time,’’ he said. ‘‘There was a HRV official at that meeting on the day and I said to him we had nearly 1300 people here for the meeting; How many will they have at Melton tonight? He had to agree nowhere near the numbers we had.’’ Like other clubs which also had the death sentence at the time Elmore didn’t take the decision lying down. Some vigorous campaigning led by Powell during the years led to the return of harness racing to town last year. ‘‘This meeting is like a town reunion. A lot people come back for the meeting to get the chance to catch up with family and friends,’’ Powell said. The feature event on the card was the Elmore Pacing Cup which attracted an even field of R1-R2 class pacers. The Ellen Tormey-trained Nomi Malone took out the race, saluting for favourite punters at $1.90. The John O’Reilly Memorial Trotters Cup for TR0 or better class trotters also had plenty of interest with most runners having good recent form, with Scottish Sardius (trained and driven by Peter Sanderson) claiming the win. Coming up Echuca’s biggest night of the year is being held on Monday. Tonight: Kilmore (n). Tomorrow: Cranbourne (n). Sunday: St Arnaud (d), Melton (n), Albury (n). Monday: Echuca (n). Tuesday: Terang (n). Wednesday: Geelong (n). Thursday: Maryborough (d), Mildura (n). By Lauren Bordin Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

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. HEARING SUMMARY 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  

A champion harness racing figure accused of serious corruption has been caught telling a worker of plans to “pull up” his horse the day before a race in which his associates allegedly won thousands of dollars. The alleged admission by Shepparton driver Nathan Jack was made in a text to stable­hand Lisa Bartley, hours before the allegedly rigged race in Cobram on June 22, 2015. Mr Jack, Ms Bartley and fellow co-accused racing ­identities Mark Pitt and Amanda Turnbull have each pleaded not guilty to corrupting the race’s betting outcome. It is alleged Mr Jack and fellow driver Mr Pitt manipulated the race by allowing Airborne Magic to win, after Mr Jack “pulled up” his horse, Tooram Lam. Police also alleged the racehorse had been secretly trained at a more elite facility before the race, creating unfair betting odds. Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday heard Mr Jack texted Ms Bartley a day before the race: “I’m pulling up that horse tomorrow.” A month later, a seemingly distressed Ms Bartley told him they could “never use one of Dad’s horses again”. “When we took Metro (nickname for Airborne Magic), Dad said he didn’t want anything to do with him, and any money he won, I was to have,” said Ms Bartley in a text read in court. “I rang him before to get him to take the money to Echuca, but he has already spent it.” The court heard Ms Bartley declined an offer of money by Mr Jack, who replied: “If it wasn’t one of yours, we wouldn’t have got anything.” Mr Jack later told Ms Bartley police “have nothing and can’t use phone taps” when discussing the probe via text in October. He was also heard telling his girlfriend, Ms Turnbull, how to answer police questions about the race. “If they interview us again, say you don’t remember anything. That’s what I’ll be saying,” he said in an intercepted phone call played in court. The Herald Sun previously reported as much as $30,000 was won by figures connected to the “Cobram Crew”. A probe was launched after a series of bets dramatically lowered Airborne Magic’s odds shortly before the race. During her police interview, Ms Bartley confessed to winning about $2000 on the race. The court heard Ms Turnbull admitted telling her brother, Nathan, to bet on Airborne Magic. He allegedly pocketed $2600. Ms Turnbull denied she backed Airborne Magic and made more than $2200. The accused foursome faces up to 10 years’ jail. The hearing continues next week. By Aneeka Simonis - Herald Sun Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegraph  

Harness Racing Victoria evidence, set to be a key piece in the prosecution case against four alleged race fixers, was thrown out in court yesterday. Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday for the second day of a hearing, accused of conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. It comes after an investigation into a race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, which Airbournemagic won. Lawyers for the accused objected to evidence Harness Racing Victoria gathered, including the downloading of phone data and certain answers given to racing stewards. ‘‘These pieces of evidence should be excluded,’’ Mr Jack’s defence lawyer Anthony Lewis told the court. ‘‘My focus is on (the) question of unfairness to the accused ... circumstances unfair to the defendant.’’ Mr Lewis said stewards met Mr Jack on his property, asked him questions and he was forced to answer them and was told if he did not — would have committed an offence. ‘‘If they don’t comply, they will be likely charged and their livelihoods at stake,’’ he said. ‘‘It is a compulsory, involuntary process ... they can refuse to answer or provide the phone, but they would only do so knowing disqualification would be inevitable. ‘‘If an admission is involuntary, then it’s inadmissible. Has the evidence been obtained by compulsion? If it has, it ought to be excluded.’’ Mr Lewis added the defendants complied with the stewards’ inquiry for the sole purpose of the stewards’ inquiry. ‘‘(They) never signed an agreement that they’re waiving their rights,’’ he said. ‘‘Never told the answers would be given to police, that’s not in the rules.’’ Prosecutor Gary Hevey disagreed, arguing the four voluntarily signed up to be involved with Harness Racing Victoria, to be bound by the rules, meaning they knew the consequences. ‘‘This was a voluntary association ... people can choose to be members or participate in the harness racing industry,’’ he told the court. ‘‘They chose to belong and in doing so they must submit to the rules of this voluntary association. ‘‘At the interviews it was open for each of the persons being questioned to respond with I don’t want to play any more ... it was open for them to say no.’’ Magistrate John Murphy said while the consequences of refusing to comply with a steward’s request did not include jail time, the consequences certainly included the defendants’ racing licence and as a consequence their professional livelihood. ‘‘One of the basis of our rule of law is that a person has the right to remain silent,’’ he said. ‘‘The accused has a fundamental right to remain silent and they can’t under HRV unless they wish to suffer penalties outlined. ‘‘It would be unfair to an accused to use the evidence ... and a denial of natural justice. ‘‘My ruling is I do not intend to allow the evidence to be given.’’ On Monday, the court heard about the alleged tactics adopted during the race, with prosecution outlining allegations Mr Jack, on Tooram Lad, allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, who Mr Pitt drove, to win the race. Representatives from different betting agencies including Bet365, Ladbrokes and Victoria Police are set to give evidence, with the prosecution saying ‘‘thousands and thousands of dollars’’ were allegedly returned from profits. The hearing continues. The race in question By HAYDEN THOMSON Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

Four alleged race fixers are pleading not guilty to all charges relating to a harness racing event at Cobram in 2015. Champion driver Nathan Jack, his partner Amanda Turnbull and Avenel pair Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The four accused have been charged with conduct that corrupts a betting outcome among other offences, after an investigation into the tactics adopted during a race on June 22, 2015 — which Airbournemagic won. Separate lawyers represented each defendant, as prosecutor Gary Hevey read out a case summary to a packed courtroom. ‘‘This case alleges corruption,’’ he told the court. ‘‘Using corrupt information for betting purposes ... it relates to the stabling, training and racing of a horse known as Airbournemagic and its winning of race four in Cobram. ‘‘In particular, allegations relate to information in possession of defendants ... the likely performance of Airbournemagic and failing to provide that information to Harness Racing Victoria.’’ Mr Hevey briefly outlined details of the charges to Magistrate John Murphy and outlined the role Harness Racing Victoria played in the sport. Court documents The News obtained told how Airbournemagic was allegedly at the stables of Ms Turnbull, a highly-regarded trainer, and Mr Jack, an experienced driver. But the details given to Harness Racing Victoria said Airbournemagic was at the stables of another person in Congupna. Due to the incorrect information allegedly given to Harness Racing Victoria, this increased the odds betting agencies set. ‘‘There are numerous messages which have been seized and downloaded in relation to the case,’’ Mr Hevey told the court. Prosecution is set to bring forward numerous witnesses from different betting agencies to give evidence, including representatives from Bet365, Ladbrokes and a Victoria Police financial analyst. The court heard how based on Airbournemagic being stabled at the Congupna address, Bet365 opened the betting ahead of the June 22, 2015 race at $35. Airbournemagic eventually jumped at just $4.80 with ‘‘thousands and thousands of dollars’’ returned from profits, Mr Hevey will allege. When Mr Jack took to the track with his horse Tooram Lad, he allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, which was close behind him for much of the race, to win. During the race, it is alleged Mr Jack was ‘‘overtly and continually looking behind his shoulder’’ at Airbournemagic, which Mr Pitt drove, for much of the race. Footage is set to be tendered to the court this week, with the trial estimated to run for more than a week. ‘‘The third section of the race was run at 27 seconds — the fastest time recorded in the last 10 years ... Mr Jack ran Tooram Lad ragged so he could not win the race,’’ Mr Hevey told the court. ‘‘When you combine that (footage) with the text messages in relation to betting ahead of the race and on the day and thereafter ... it is inescapable.’’ Ms Turnbull allegedly got a family member to place a bet on the race, which paid off with winnings of $2236.23. Ms Bartley, who allegedly helped with the training of Airbournemagic along with Mr Jack, also allegedly won $2274.24 on a winning bet on the race. Lawyers for the accused are set to object to a number of pieces of evidence, including the downloading of phone data seized, certain answers given to racing stewards and subsequent material Victoria Police obtained during a search warrant. ‘‘There is a question of unfairness of the accused,’’ Mr Jack’s defence lawyer Anthony Lewis told the court. ‘‘(We have) similar issues ... challenge the interview with stewards ... use of phone material downloaded and a challenge to the seizing of the mobile phone,’’ Ms Bartley’s defence lawyer Rohan Laurence said. Many of the charges face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. The hearing continues today. The race in question By HAYDEN THOMSON Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News  

Four alleged race fixers could face up to 10 years in prison for a crime that netted only a few grand. Mark Ryan Pitt, Amanda Turnbull, Lisa Carol Bartley and Nathan Jack faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for their alleged involvement in a crime that rocked the Victorian harness racing community. The four accused came to court for what was scheduled to be a committal mention, but due to complications in how the case progressed from previous mentions it did not proceed. Court documents obtained by The News showed how the group allegedly gamed the racing and betting system for minor financial gain. The crime was allegedly committed at Cobram Harness Racing Club on June 22, 2015, when Airbournemagic won the fourth race of the day. It paid off for the people that backed the horse thanks to its good odds from the bookies. According to the charges, Airbournemagic was allegedly at the stables of Amanda Turnbull, a highly-regarded trainer, and Nathan Jack, an experienced reinsman. But the details given to Harness Racing Victoria stated that Airbournemagic was at the stables of another person. This person’s name has been suppressed by the court. Due to the incorrect information that was allegedly given to Harness Racing Victoria, this increased the odds given by betting agencies. When Nathan Jack took to the track with his horse Tooram Lad, he allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, which was close behind him for much of the race, to win. According to the charges Nathan Jack was ‘‘overtly and continually looking behind his shoulder’’ at Airbournemagic, which was driven by Mark Pitt for much of the race. According to previous reports, it was this behaviour that initially raised the suspicions of race officials. Watch this race here Amanda Turnbull allegedly got a family member to place a bet on the race, which paid off with winnings of $2236.23. Lisa Bartley, who allegedly helped with the training of Airbournemagic along with Nathan Jack, also allegedly won $2274.24 on a winning bet on the race. Many of the charges face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. No pleas have yet been entered and the case will next face Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on November 27. By Barclay White Reprinted with permission of the Shepparton News

Result of the appeals held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 8 February 2017.  Nathan Jack Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Jack.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Jack.  HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis  Appellant Representative: Damian Sheales HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    Brocq Robertson Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Robertson.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Robertson.  HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Damian Sheales HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota   Amanda Turnbull Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Ms Turnbull.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Ms Turnbull. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    Lisa Bartley Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Ms Bartley.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Ms Bartley. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey  HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    Mark Pitt Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Pitt.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Pitt.  HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey  HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD ANTHONY BURNS, Chairman BRIAN COLLIS, Member   EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS    NATHAN JACK BROCQ ROBERTSON AMANDA TURNBULL LISA BARTLEY MARK PITT   DECISION   WEDNESDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2017 MR P CZARNOTA appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MR D SHEALES appeared on behalf of MR JACK AND Mr ROBERTSON MR S TOVEY appeared on behalf of MS TURNBULL MR H COCKBURN appeared on behalf of MS BARTLEY AND MR PITT  .......................................................................................................................................... This investigation commenced over 18 months ago and an earlier suspension and stay application was dealt with by this Board on 14 September 2016.  Four of the five applicants were recently charged with criminal offences pursuant to the betting outcome provisions of the Crimes Act. These are to be dealt with in the indictable stream and assuming a contest will be through to a committal then trial in the County Court. It is reasonable to presume that the matters will not resolve at least until late in 2018 and possibly even well into 2019.  The Stewards take the suspension action that they have taken in support of the integrity of the industry and its reputation in the eyes of the public.  The integrity of the industry is however a two way street. To have integrity the system must honour the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice towards its participants.  Criminal charges are now filed but must be weighed against the presumption of innocence.  As said in September 2016, by this Board, the fact that charges of themselves carries little weight, it is the evidence underlying those charges which is relevant.   The applicants have not been charged by the Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing. As to the evidence that has been provided the authorities are clear that cogent and compelling reasons would need to be present to justify any suspension from an industry that provides the livelihood for these applicants. This Board is not privy to the evidence in the police brief. The evidence provided is suggestive of a circumstantial case but one that is denied by the applicants.  There are no certificates creating conclusive proofs here as there were in Demmler before VCAT, a citation of which is 2015 VCAT 648. That was a case against the Tribunal even in the face of conclusive proofs allowed a stay.  Any suspension here approved will effectively ruin the livelihoods of the applicants.  The need to ensure the integrity and reputation of harness racing is indeed a most important consideration.  The public is sophisticated enough however to understand the difference between where charges are laid with the concomitant presumption of innocence and where charges are proven.  Given the suspension here it may create unrecoverable consequences for the applicants. We are not satisfied that the need to protect the integrity of the industry outweighs the damage to the reputation and livelihood of these applicants. Indeed nor are we satisfied that the integrity of the industry will be harmed by the continued involvement of these applicants in the sport pending the outcome of charges.  Accordingly, the decision of the Stewards to suspend all the applicants is stayed.   

24 January 2017 - With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on January 11, 2017, where criminal charges were served on harness racing participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update: The HRV Integrity Department advises that it is in the process of reviewing submissions made by the legal representatives of licenced participants Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Lisa Bartley and Mr Mark Pitt addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against their respective licences to participate in the industry. It is not anticipated a decision will be made today and HRV will update on this matter in due course. HRV is unable to make any further comment.  Harness Racing Victoria

19 January 2017 - With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 11 January, 2017 where criminal charges were served on harness racing Participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update; HRV advises that in response to requests from some of the legal representatives of the relevant individuals, the HRV Stewards have granted an extension of time to Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Lisa Bartley and Mr Mark Pitt regarding the timeframe by which they are required to provide any submissions addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against the respective licences of the individuals to participate in the industry. Any such submissions are now to be provided by 5.00pm on Monday 23 January 2017 and will be given due consideration thereafter prior to any decision being made. With respect to the Victoria Police investigation, HRV is unable to make any further comment. Harness Racing Victoria

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