HRA Appeal Board rejects jockey's challenge
The Appeal Board of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority today decided that Kieren Fallon should remain banned from racing in the UK pending his trial on criminal charges of conspiracy to defraud gamblers.
The Board, chaired by the former High Court Judge Sir Roger Buckley, dismissed the leading jockey’s challenge to the ban, imposed last Friday, 7 July, by a Special Licensing Committee of the HRA.
Fallon and others were charged by the City of London police on Monday 3 July. The allegations against the defendants are that they conspired by dishonestly agreeing, over a lengthy period, not to permit various horses ridden by Fallon and other jockeys to run on their merits, and then laying those horses to lose on the Betfair betting exchange. The defendants vigorously contest the charges.
The 3-man Licensing Panel, chaired by Sir Michael Connell – another former High Court judge – had decided that it was necessary in the interests of racing to prohibit Fallon from racing in this country pending his trial, or further orders. The Panel left a decision on whether he should race in other countries to the foreign authorities, and made no request for corresponding action abroad.
Fallon argued on appeal, however, that the Panel’s decision denied him his right to earn a living, would effectively end his career as a jockey, and was disproportionate and unlawful. He also complained that the Panel had unlawfully declined to take into account any evidence or submissions about the underlying criminal charges against him.
Fallon’s case was argued by David Pannick QC and Pushpinder Saini at a 4-hour hearing at the HRA’s Shaftesbury Avenue headquarters last night.
In a brief announcement of its decision this morning the Appeal Board rejected both Fallon’s grounds of complaint and dismissed the appeal. It stated that detailed reasons would, at Fallon’s request, be provided as soon as possible.