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Summerside police have confirmed they are investigating at least three complaints relating to strange incidents at the Red Shores Summerside Raceway. Police said Monday they are looking into reports of a theft on May 29, damage being done to tires on a cart on June 9 and a horse sustaining unexplained injuries on June 12. No further information was available yet, but the investigations remain ongoing. Users of the raceway’s stables are concerned about the safety of their horses and property as unexplained vandalism like this has been a recent problem. Some have said they intend to install security cameras for peace of mind. “Without the security cameras, we can’t be 100 per cent sure. Horses can get into trouble themselves, but they don’t need some stranger coming here and unlocking them and then getting hurt as a result,” said Vance Cameron, the track announcer. RELATED: Horses hurt, tires slashed at Red Shores Racetrack in Summerside Reprinted with permission of The Guardian

Harness racing driver Simon Lawson has unfairly copped a two and a half year ban from the JCA for betting on another horse in a race he was driving in. Originally in a reserved decision, Lawson was fined $8000 and given a suspension of 18 months for placing a $50EW Fixed Odds bet on Mr Natural in Race 10 at Alexandra Park on 25th May 2018, the “Book An ATC Bus to The Jewels” Mobile Trot while he drove My Royal Roxy into 5th place in the same race. Details of the Reserved Decision can be read here. That one and a half year ban has now been upgraded to two and a half years. For a young driver whose life revolved around horses and harness racing, the ban will certainly impact his life in a major way. Lawson himself could not believe the length of the term he was disqualified for. "I am in shock" he told Harnesslink today. "It has cost me my job and it is going to take me years to pay the fine. "I am not saying I did not do anything wrong, because I did make a mistake. "But I think the penalty is harsh and far outweighs the breach of rules," he said. Earlier in the year Lawson was cleared of race fixing in the race he profited from after police interviewed some of the drivers in the race and found there was no race fixing involved. Betting patterns that were analysed on the race in question also confirmed no illegal activity. The two and a half year ban is extremely excessive. It is our belief the RIU appealed the original decision to have the term extended just to make Simon Lawson a scapegoat. Lawson has now been unfairly burdened with a penalty so far out of context with the rule breach it seems like a joke. Granted the industry needs to protect its integrity but this over the top suspension in our eyes instead makes the industry a laughing stock and instead further damages the industry. Many owners trainers and drivers we talked too are growing more and more disheartened at the decisions coming from this integrity unit. Something has got to be done and we think the heads at the RIU need to go as they are continuing to hurt all aspects of harness racing. Harnesslink Media

Melbourne Cup-winning horse trainer Darren Weir and two other men have been arrested in police raids at Weir's Victorian properties. Victoria Police said the raids were part of a Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit investigation into alleged corruption in racing. In a statement, police said the men were arrested for questioning as part of an investigation into suspected offences including obtaining financial advantage by deception, engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome, use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes, attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception. A 26-year-old man and a 38-year-old man were also arrested. Weir, 48, is widely regarded as Australia's leading horse trainer and trained the 2015 Melbourne Cup-winning horse Prince of Penzance, which jockey Michelle Payne rode to victory. At the end of last year, harness racing in New Zealand was rocked by allegations of race-fixing. It's believed that a number of high profile figures in harness racing were the target of raids around the country. Most of those accused have been granted name suppression and are due to appear in court this year. In a statement, Racing Victoria's general manager of integrity, Jamie Stier, said the police raids were linked to an investigation by the racing body. "Racing Victoria's Integrity Services team has been conducting an investigation into the activities of licensed persons in the Warrnambool and Ballarat areas," he said. "During the course of our investigation we sought the support of Victoria Police's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit." Mr Stier said members of Racing Victoria's integrity team joined police on the raids at the properties. "Racing Victoria is committed to maintaining the highest integrity standards in our sport and, where appropriate, we will continue to work with Victoria Police on those investigations." Police said a firearm and "what is believed to be a conducted energy device" were also seized. Weir has a high-tech training facility at Miners Rest and a beach stable in Warrnambool. Police searched a truck at the trainer's Miners Rest property this morning, going through its cab and the vehicle's exterior. Victoria's Racing Minister, Martin Pakula, said he was aware of the police investigation and did not want to say anything to prejudice its outcome. "I would simply say as a racing fan and as the Racing Minister, integrity in our sport is incredibly important and any allegation of a breach of the rules of racing is extremely disappointing," he said. "It is important to note that this is another demonstration that our racing integrity unit within Racing Victoria will pursue any matter without fear or favour, and that is clearly what they have done." Reprinted with permission of Radio New Zealand

STATE COLLEGE — This usually quiet town finds itself still shaking from Thursday’s late-night tragedy in which a gunman killed four people, including himself. “Relatively speaking,” State College Police Chief John Gardner said at a press conference Friday, “State College is one of the safest places in America.” That classification was challenged at 10:14 p.m. Thursday when 21-year-old Jordan Witmer of Benner Township went on a shooting spree at P.J. Harrigan’s Bar & Grill, located at 1450 S. Atherton Street. Harrigan’s is attached to the Ramada Hotel. Pronounced dead Thursday night were Dean Beachy, 61, George McCormick, 83, and Witmer. Beachy’s son, 19-year-old Steven Beachy, died Friday. Nicole Abrino, 21, remains in critical condition after being transferred from Mount Nittany Medical Center to a Pittsburgh hospital. Gardner said police are trying to determine a motive and “make sense of what occurred.” Officers were first dispatched to Harrigan’s after a report of shots fired. Gardner said Witmer had arrived at the bar about 8:30 p.m. and was there with Abrino. Police are still trying to determine the exact relationship between Witmer and Abrino. According to police, at one point during the night, Witmer got up from his bar seat, walked to where the Beachys were seated and began shooting. Dean Beachy, a visiting auctioneer from Millersburg, Ohio, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Steven Beachy suffered a torso wound and was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center. He was transferred to UPMC Altoona, where he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. Friday, Centre County Deputy Coroner Debra Smeal told the Millersburg (Ohio) Daily Record. Dean Beachy was listed as an auctioneer at a standard-bred horse auction at Penns Valley Livestock in Centre Hall, the Record reported. Abrino suffered a chest wound. According to police, after the shooting, Witmer fled and crashed his car at the intersection of Waupelani Drive and Tussey Lane at about 10:46 p.m. Officers found Witmer’s vehicle unoccupied, and at 11:09 p.m., State College police were dispatched to 748 Tussey Lane — McCormick’s home — for a reported burglary in progress with shots fired. Gardner said Witmer entered the McCormick residence by shooting a sliding glass door and then kicking his way in. Officers entered at approximately 11:14 p.m. and found McCormick deceased with a gunshot wound to his head. Witmer was found deceased in the living room from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. McCormick’s wife, Joann, 80, was unharmed. She had locked herself in the bedroom and called 911. As questions persisted Friday about the shooter and his motive, Gardner reminded, “What I don’t want to have lost here … four people lost their lives.” Gardner said an investigation revealed that there was no relationship between Witmer and the McCormicks, and it is believed he chose the home at random after crashing his vehicle. After describing the incident, Gardner took time to address some issues regarding the timeliness of certain warnings. Gardner said he wanted “to stress more than anything” that the first thing officers did after collecting relevant information was to send that information to other law enforcement bodies, including Pennsylvania State Police. This information included a description of the suspect. Gardner noted that by the time he arrived on scene at 11:15 p.m., a lot of the information had already been dispersed through local television and social media. “If there’s one thing I think we, myself in particular as the police chief here, could have done better is to release information sooner that the threat had been eliminated,” he said. “We knew there was no more threat to the public,” Gardner said, adding that “in hindsight” he wishes the information had been released sooner so the public hadn’t remained in a “heightened state.” On social media in particular, several Penn State students expressed concern over the fact that no university alert was sent out. Gardner said that during the incident there were “no immediate threats to Penn State or its students,”in part due to the fact that the shooting took place miles off campus. Gardner said the shooting was “a State College incident, not a university incident,” which contributed to the university’s decision not to send out an alert. Penn State issued a statement Friday, saying it was “deeply saddened by the senseless acts of violence that have occurred and our thoughts are with the victims and their families” and adding that it was in touch with State College police Thursday night and was “monitoring the rapidly unfolding off-campus incident.” “The decision to send an action alert is made on a case-by-case basis for each situation, and is based on information available to Penn State Police at the time of the event,” the statement read. “We always review our responses to these incidents and will adjust our processes as needed.” The police department is in the process of investigating more on Witmer’s background, Gardner said. A 2015 Bellefonte High School graduate, Witmer was in the military, but it is unclear whether he was active duty or had just gotten out. Gardner said Witmer had a legal permit to carry a gun. Gardner said the case isn’t “open and closed” because Witmer took his own life, adding that the department will work as long as possible to determine exactly what happened. Gardner said an investigation into whether or not there were drugs or alcohol in Witmer’s system is being conducted. Gardner said mass shootings are “not very common” in the area. A sign on the door at Harrigan’s said the bar would be closed through the weekend and expressed condolences to the victims. Mirror copy editor Sarah Vasile can be reached at 949-7029. Reprinted with permission of The Altoona Mirror ............................................................................... From the USTA Columbus, OH — Dean W. Beachy 62, of Millersburg, OH, died Thursday, January 24, 2019, in State College, Pa. a victim of a random shooting. His son Steven also died as a result of the shooting. Born January 16, 1957, he was a son of the late Albert J. and Emma Jean (Beachy) Beachy. Dean was a renowned harness racing auctioneer and a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church. He is survived by his wife, the former Linda Meader, whom he married September 21, 1991. Also surviving are his children Robert Joseph Beachy, Benjamin Dean Beachy, David Albert Beachy, (Steven Lee Beachy, also a victim of the shooting) all from Walnut Creek, 2 sisters Wilma Mae (Daniel) Yoder of Medina, N.Y., Diane Sue Beachy of Walnut Creek and a sister-in-law Esther Beachy of Winesburg. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Dale Lee Beachy. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 11:00 AM at the Mt. Hope Event Center in Mt. Hope with Pastor Don Hamsher officiating. A private burial will be held prior to services. Friends may call at the event center Sunday from 5 to 8 PM and Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM. Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek is handling the arrangements. To share a memory, please visit the funeral home’s web site. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Walnut Creek Mennonite Missions Program (330-852-2560).  Steven Lee Beachy, 19, dies Steven Lee Beachy 19, Millersburg, OH, died Friday, January 25, 2019, in Altoona, Pa., a victim of a random shooting in State College, Pa on Thursday. His father, Dean W. Beachy, also died as a result of the shooting. Born June 22, 1999, in Canton he was a son Linda Mary Beachy and the late Dean W. Beachy. Steven was a horseman and a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church. In addition to his mother he is survived by 3 brothers Robert Joseph Beachy, Benjamin Dean Beachy and David Albert Beachy, all of Walnut Creek, a grandfather Bud Meader of Rochester, New Hampshire and aunts and uncles Diane Beachy, Esther Beachy, Daniel and Wilma Yoder, Dana and Lorraine Rines and Robert and Polly Meader.  Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 11:00 AM at the Mt. Hope Event Center in Mt. Hope with Pastor Don Hamsher officiating. A private burial will be held prior to services. Friends may call at the event center Sunday from 5 to 8 PM and Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM. Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek is handling the arrangements. To share a memory, please visit the funeral home’s web site. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Walnut Creek Mennonite Missions Program. (330-852-2560).  The USTA Communications Department  

Betting anomalies have been identified and police say more arrests are possible as the probe into alleged corruption in New Zealand harness racing widens to the Auckland region. Thirteen harness racing figures have so far appeared in court after being caught up in the 18-month Operation Inca race-fixing investigation by the National Organised Crime Group. Many of the racing identities cannot be named for legal reasons and have denied match-fixing and other charges. They are awaiting a High Court hearing in February for name suppression to be argued. The charges came after raids on multiple stables and properties in Canterbury, Invercargill and Manawatu in September. Today, police revealed investigators from the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) and detectives from the National Organised Crime Group have this week conducted further enquiries in the Auckland region. "A number of people have been interviewed as part of this week's enquiries, and betting anomalies have been identified in at least one race in May 2018," a police statement said. "The RIU is considering charges relating to the breach of rules around driver betting in relation to these anomalies. "Further arrests and charges by police are also possible." Christchurch District Court heard on Wednesday that a male driver in his 50s has been charged with conspiring with another person to manipulate a race result earlier this year by "administering a substance" to a horse before the race "in order to gain a pecuniary advantage, namely the winning stakes". Defence lawyer Phil Shamy said the man denied the charge and would elect trial by jury. Judge Raoul Neave granted him interim name suppression which will be reviewed when he comes back to court – along with others charged over Operation Inca – on March 25 next year. North Canterbury trainer Andrew Douglas Stuart, 42, who has previously entered not guilty pleas to three race-fixing allegations, faces a fourth fixing charge. It's alleged that with another man he "manipulated the overall result" of a race earlier this year by deception and without claim of right. A 40-year-old Canterbury man who denies three race-fixing charges and who is yet to enter pleas on two unrelated drugs charges had another drugs charge laid this week. Graham Henry Beirne, a 71-year-old Christchurch man, previously denied two race fixing charges, and faces a third charge. Defence counsel Richard Raymond QC asked for no plea to be entered on the new charge, and Judge Neave remanded him until March 25. Three other men – aged 50, 35 and 26 – deny race-fixing allegations, as does Palmerston North man Brent Stephen Wall, 47, and 44-year-old Rolleston-based horse trainer Nigel Raymond McGrath. Others face drugs charges that their lawyers say is unconnected to the horse racing investigation, including Elie Sawma, a 42-year-old Christchurch hairdresser charged with supplying the Class B controlled drug MDMA, possession of MDMA, and offering to supply the Class A drug cocaine. Another accused, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is yet to enter pleas. Some of the accused were remanded by Judge Raoul Neave to a Crown case review hearing on March 25 next year, while others will be back in court on January 29. By: Kurt Bayer NZ Herald reporter based in Christchurch   Reprinted with permission of The New Zealand Herald

Thirteen more charges have been laid in relation to a probe into harness racing race-fixing. Police say 12 of the charges have been laid against current defendants. One charge has been laid against another person in the industry. The investigation, dubbed Operation Inca, was made public in September when explosive allegations around race fixing and drugs were revealed The defendants will next appear in the Christchurch District Court in early December. Courtesy of Newstalk ZB

Harness Racing participants Dayl March and Leonard Cain have had their licences reinstated after charges of race fixing against them were dropped last week.  The Brisbane Magistrates' Court dismissed the charges, citing a lack of evidence in both cases.  It is believed the Magistrate indicated in March’s case that there was insufficient evidence to proceed and the charges were subsequently withdrawn, The Courier Mail reported last week.  In the case of Cain, it is understood the prosecution asked for more time to produce witnesses, but the submission was rejected and the case dismissed. QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said both March and Cain had applied to have their racing licences reinstated.  “Mr Cain’s suspension has been lifted effective immediately and he is able to resume under his licence which remains current," Commissioner Barnett said.  “The licence of Mr March expired through the suspension period and he will be issued a renewal application directly. The suspension has been lifted however no current licence is in place at this stage. “QRIC stewards have yet to examine the circumstances of each case to determine whether any further action should be taken.” While March and Cain challenged their charges, former driver Barton Cockburn was fined $5,000 in October last year after pleading guilty to three charges relating to race fixing.  Cockburn was warned off all race tracks for life following his conviction. By Nick Hluchaniuk Reprinted with permission of The Punters

Race-fixing cases against harness racing participants Dayl March and Leonard Cain were dismissed in Brisbane Magistrates’ Court this week, leaving the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and the Racing Crime Squad red-faced. Both decisions cited a lack of evidence as the reason for the dismissals. The cases of March and Cain were the first match-fixing charges to be contested in court relating to QRIC’s harness racing investigations, which were conducted by the Racing Crime Squad. Last October, Barton Cockburn pleaded guilty to three charges of match fixing, pertaining to races in November 2016 and was fined $5000. Soon after, Michael Grant also pleaded guilty to different charges relating to the same inquiry. At the time, Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said Cockburn’s conviction “should put an end to industry speculation about whether the Commission would be able to gather sufficient evidence to obtain convictions”. “I hope the fact that two of the three people we’ve charged so far have now pleaded guilty will be a reflection of the evidence that was gathered in these matters,” Barnett said at the time. However, Cain and March chose to defend the charges and their cases were thrown out of court on Wednesday and Thursday. It is understood in the case of trainer-driver March, the Magistrate indicated there was insufficient evidence to proceed and the charges were subsequently withdrawn. Harness driver Leonard Cain had his race-fixing case dismissed in the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court.  In the case of Cain, a harness driver, it is understood the prosecution asked for more time to produce witnesses, but the submission was rejected and the case dismissed. Both QRIC and the Queensland Police Service declined to comment on the March and Cain dismissals on Friday. March has been sidelined and unable to compete since having his license suspended in April last year. Initially he did not seek a stay of proceedings because he had hoped the matter would be resolved quickly. Later, when it became apparent the case would drag on, he was denied the stay. Originally published as Race-fixing cases thrown out of court   By Nathan Exelby   Reprinted with permission of news.com.au    

An Australian gambler was able to parlay A$1,600 (US$1,245) into an incredible A$56,000 (US$43,000) after pulling off an upset win during a horserace in February 2013. While he basked in his winnings and the attention he received after the long-shot victory, some began quietly questioning how it was possible. The truth has finally come out, with the gambler among 78 looking at charges of fraud. Edward Ridgway was the prophet who foresaw Alma’s Fury winning the race that day. The track was wet, which always resulted in a poor performance by the horse. Always, except for one race. That win unleashed an investigation that uncovered a history of fraudulent bets. All of the bets were perpetrated by the same individual, Stephen Charles Fletcher, who was already in hot water for receiving insider information in various gambling activities, according to The Sydney Morning Herald report. Fletcher was first introduced to authorities in 2006 after he and his betting partner, Eddie Hayson, had won millions wagering on a rugby match. Authorities accused the pair of learning prior to the match that a key player wouldn’t be on the field due to an injury, and used the information to enter their bets. Both Fletcher and Hayson denied the allegations, and there wasn’t enough proof for a conviction. However, Fletcher was subsequently banned from gambling. From September 2012 to March 2013, Fletcher used the identities of 77 individuals, including police officers, to continue his betting activities, according to the report. He has been shown to have been behind bets placed at a number of horserace tracks around Australia, and also in Hong Kong and Singapore. In one instance, he used Ridgway’s account in a horserace in Hong Kong, turning US$233 into US$13,774. In February 2013, Fletcher made 28 bets under the names of others in racing events ranging from greyhounds in Western Australia to harness racing in Penrith. Former police officers Senior Constable Marc Smith and Senior Constable Tony Williams were also caught up in the investigation. The duo face charges for soliciting fellow officers to join in on the fraud. It has been determined that Williams met Fletcher through the latter’s friend, Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, who is also under investigation. Fletcher has now been charged with 78 counts of “dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.” Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in an Aussie prison. Knowing his propensity for using others’ identities, authorities will probably want to make sure it’s really him before sending him away. By Erik Gibbs Reprinted with permission of Calvinayre.com site

A man has been charged with cheating at gambling offences as part of an ongoing investigation into the fixing of harness races in NSW. Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad established Strike Force Antree to investigate reports of race fixing in the harness racing industry in NSW. Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 23-year-old man at Dubbo just after 9am today (Thursday 1 March 2018). He was taken to Dubbo Police Station and charged with two counts of engage in conduct that corrupts betting outcome and use corrupt information to bet on event. Police will allege in court that the man administered two horses with banned performance-enhancing substances ahead of a harness race meet at Parkes on Sunday 6 August 2017. He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Dubbo Local Court on Tuesday 24 April 2018. Shortly after the arrest, strike force detectives, assisted by officers from Orana Mid Western Police District and Western Region Enforcement Squad, executed a search warrant at a home on Roper Street, Dubbo. Detectives seized documentation, including sports betting account information; and performance-enhancing substances. Investigations under Strike Force Antree are continuing. Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Antree investigators to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our social media pages.

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides this update in respect to Victoria Police issuing criminal charges against licensed driver Kieran O’Keeffe. HRV Stewards gave Mr O’Keeffe the opportunity to provide submissions as to why action should not be taken against him under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) while his appeal regarding conviction and penalty is determined. Mr O’Keeffe presented submissions to HRV Stewards, which have been considered along with all other relevant circumstances including the importance of protecting the integrity of and maintaining public confidence in the Victorian harness racing industry. Following this consideration, in accordance with the provisions of AHRR 183(d), HRV Stewards have directed that Mr O’Keeffe’s drivers licence be suspended. HRV Stewards have not invoked AHRR 15(d), which would exclude Mr O’Keeffe from attending racetracks. Mr O’Keeffe has been advised of his right to appeal this decision to the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board. Mr O'Keeffe has subsequently lodged an appeal and been granted a stay of proceedings until the appeal is determined. With respect to the criminal charges, HRV is unable to make any further comment at this time. Harness Racing Victoria

A Shelbourne harness racing trainer has pleaded guilty to his role in fixing three races in country Victoria in 2014, two of which involved his own horses. Larry Eastman, 60, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to five charges including use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes, and engaging in conduct to corrupt a betting outcome. The court heard Eastman had nasogastric intubation – known as “stomach tubing” or “drenching” – administered to two of his horses within 48 hours of race meets, and knew of a third horse that was illegally receiving the technique. The technique is illegal within 48 hours of races as it can enhance performance through improved rehydration. It involves placing a tube down the throat of the horse and adding a mixture of alkalising agents, sodiums and bicarbonate. Eastman then encouraged others to bet on the races on his behalf, knowing that the horses had this advantage. His horse Cashiking was administered stomach tubing before race 7 at Nyah at Swan Hill on December 2, 2014. Related: Integrity commissioner tackles corruption in harness racing industry Eastman administered stomach tubing to another of his horses, Waterslide, for race 5 at Charlton on December 8, 2014. Eastman then had the driver inject the horse with potassium a short time after the race to conceal the effects of stomach tubing from Harness Racing Victoria authorities. Eastman personally gained $400 from betting $200 on the three-to-one result. Eastman also knew that horse Dynamite Dick had been administered stomach tubing before race 5 at Horsham on December 15, 2014. He had two other men bet on his behalf. Eastman came to the attention of police during their investigation into Shayne and Greg Cramp, of Mildura, who were later sentenced in relation to race fixing offences. Police intercepted a phone call between Eastman and one of the men, and suspected Eastman was also involved in “corrupt conduct”. The practice of stomach tubing, or drenching, has been the subject of “strict controls” for racing worldwide. Defence counsel Robert Timms said Eastman’s offending was small compared to others in the harness racing industry. “My client, as part of the plea, was a small fish in a much bigger pond,” he said. “The co-accused in Mildura were involved in far more.” Mr Timms said he would be asking the court to sentence Eastman to a community corrections order, or a fine. Eastman will be sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on February 2. By Adam Holmes Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

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 man accused of lying to a Queensland corruption watchdog investigation into harness racing match-fixing has been charged with perjury as the cheating scandal around the industry continues. The 35-year-old, who was charged with match-fixing in November, is accused of lying to the Crime and Corruption Commission about his participation in match- fixing conduct and the release of inside information. His perjury charges come after Queensland’s championship-leading driver and prominent industry identity Shane Robert Graham and another of the state’s top harness racing drivers, Leonard Cain, were charged on Sunday in relation to the long-running sting. Graham has been charged with two counts of disclosing the knowledge to another about a relevant bet, two counts of facilitating match-fixing conduct for a pecuniary benefit and one count of encouraging another person to make a relevant bet. Shane Graham at the Beenleigh watchhouse. Photo Annette Dew The alleged cheating operation was at the time likened by Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett to organised crime. The allegations of match-fixing centre on two races at Albion Park in July and October. On Monday, a 65-year-old man was charged over allegations he knew of a match-fixing arrangement when he put bets on a race. Those charged under the ongoing investigation into major and organised crime around racing circles remain before the courts. “The Queensland racing crime squad will pursue all information received regarding match-fixing and criminal conduct across all codes of racing,” Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said on Tuesday. Reprinted with the permission of The Courier Mail

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  

A 69-year-old Brisbane man has been charged over allegations of harness racing match-fixing. Police say the man rigged the outcome of harness races at Albion Park in Brisbane and Globe Derby Park in Adelaide, and fraudulently purchased harness racing horses while disqualified from any involvement in racing. The Redcliffe man was charged on Wednesday with match-fixing, fraud and receiving tainted property, and will appear in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on January 8. He is the fourth person to be charged with match-fixing offences as part of a joint investigation by the Queensland Racing Crime Squad and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

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