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Fergal Lynch

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  • #12002
    Nor1
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    #238472
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    WTF!!!! :evil:

    Colin

    #238476
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3177

    Seriously people – it’s British racing, you just have to sit back and laugh at the total incompetence of the authorities.

    They won’t ban drug cheats, they won’t punish shady rides and they do deals with the criminally corrupt.

    #238518
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Plea bargaining happens all the time either officially or unofficially – in both legal and civil cases. I do not see what is different in this case.

    The reasoning is also fully explained in the report from the panel, including the fact Lynch had already served a ban of 18 months when he was awaiting his trial.

    Lynch is effectively banned from riding in this country for a year and that suits me fine – if other jurisdictions wish to grant him a licence that is up to them. The US authorities are aware of the case and it is up to them to decide if they wish to take action themselves. Looking as the US attitude towards drugs I get the impression they have a more lenient approach.

    Also bear in mind he has agreed not to apply for a UK licence for one year – there is no guarantee he would be granted a licence to ride here if he applied in a years time.

    Regarding Williams – he pleaded guilty and he should have had the wherewithal to have negotiated a deal that he deemed appropriate. I think a three month ban is lenient.

    #238519
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Here is the judgement in full

    RESULT OF AN ENQUIRY HELD BY THE DISCIPLINARY PANEL ON 24TH, 25TH AND 26TH JUNE AND 1ST AND 2ND JULY

    Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams

    1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA has been conducting an Enquiry into allegations of breach of the Rules of Racing made against Fergal Lynch, Darren Williams, Karl Burke and Miles Rodgers relating to various supposed dealings between them between March and August 2004. As the cases against Lynch and Williams were finally concluded on 25 June 2009, before the Enquiry into Burke’s and Rodgers’s activities had ended, the Panel gives the following reasons for the decisions taken so far.

    Fergal Lynch
    2. The allegations against him were, in summary:
    (1) breach of Rule 243 over the supply of inside information to Rodgers about 6 of his rides (these having been laid on Betfair through accounts controlled by Rodgers).
    (2) breach of Rule 157 for a stopping ride on BOND CITY at Ripon on 31 August 2004.
    (3) breach of Rule 244 for betting through Miles Rodgers
    (4) breach of Rule 220(iv) for associating in relation to horseracing with Rodgers, who was a disqualified person for two years from 2 April 2004.

    3. On 15 and 16 June the Panel heard an application by Lynch to throw out the allegations of breach of the inside information rule and of “stopping” BOND CITY. It was argued that it would be unfair to conduct any enquiry into these matters because of Lynch’s acquittal at the Old Bailey, where the conspiracy charge he faced included an allegation that he had stopped BOND CITY.

    4. The Panel dismissed those applications.

    5. A few days later, Lynch and the BHA came to a provisional agreement. Lynch would admit certain breaches of the Rules in return for which the BHA would recommend a penalty to the Panel. The procedures recently developed in the criminal courts for considering plea bargains of this kind were followed (see Notes for Editors). The Panel’s role was to consider separately whether it was prepared to act in accordance with the plea bargain between Lynch and the BHA. The Panel was prepared to go along with it for the following reasons.

    6. The admissions of breach of the Rules made by Lynch were comprehensive. Only the allegation of failing to cooperate with the investigation (which was something of a make weight in the context of the case overall) was dropped.

    7. The admissions made were undoubtedly admissions of serious breaches of the Rules. Indeed, by the admission of breach of Rule 157 because he “stopped” BOND CITY at Ripon on 31 August 2004 , Lynch was admitting the most serious form of Rule 157 breach: that he deliberately rode to lose knowing that it had been layed to lose by Rodgers. This admission came after denials of any such conduct both in the Old Bailey trial and in these disciplinary proceedings. Though it was clear from the transcripts of telephone calls between Rodgers and Lynch that Lynch was put under pressure by Rodgers to stop BOND CITY, it was equally clear from their conversation shortly after the race that Lynch did what he was asked. As he said – “I’ll tell you what, I don’t really want to do that again ….It’s cost me a winner that ….”

    8. The admitted breaches all now carry recommended entry points for penalty purposes of various periods of disqualification or suspension. The most serious – the Rule 157 breach – has a recommended entry point disqualification of 30 months. In principle, and without the mitigating features and the plea bargain terms referred to below, Lynch would have been looking at a disqualification for considerably more than 30 months because of his giving of inside information to a disqualified person and because he conducted betting through him.

    9. From that starting point, considerable reductions to the length of a disqualification would have been required because:
    1) Lynch had already suffered a suspension of about 18 months from the time when he was charged with conspiracy until his acquittal by direction of the Judge at his Old Bailey trial. Though he received financial compensation for this, it came at a time when his career was on an upswing and it involved in his case a serious loss of opportunity.
    2) The delay in bringing these disciplinary proceedings was not Lynch’s (or the BHA’s) fault. It arose because of the protracted police investigation which led to a long criminal trial at which Lynch was acquitted. In that period of delay, the recommended penalties for the now admitted breaches of the Rules have increased. It was suggested that this should lead to a reduction of penalty to reflect the gentler regime that was in operation in years gone by. But that approach does not accord with the principle that the Panel should apply the guidance current at the date of the enquiry (see page 41 note 5 of the Guide to Procedures & Penalties). However, the Panel was prepared to recognise that a reduction was appropriate simply because of the long delay.
    3) He admitted (though very late in the day) his breach of the Rules.

    10. It is in that context that it was necessary to examine the proposed plea bargain. The critical parts were that Lynch would pay a fine of £50,000 and that he would undertake not to apply for a UK licence for 12 months and not to ride in the UK for 12 months in reliance upon a foreign licence.

    11. The Panel was prepared to approve this because the undertaking not to ride here for 12 months was the practical equivalent, so far as UK racing is concerned, of a suspension for that period. The BHA gave an undertaking, as part of the deal, not to “invite any other jurisdiction to impose any restriction on Lynch’s licence to race as a result of these proceedings” unless he fails to pay the fine. But it was made plain that the BHA was still obliged to inform other jurisdictions of the action taken in this case. The Panel’s obligation is to consider penalties proportionate to the breaches for the protection of racing in Britain. In the circumstances the undertaking not to race here for 12 months plus the £50,000 fine was an acceptable alternative to the ban which would have been imposed if Lynch still wanted to race here.

    12. Accordingly the only penalty as such which is imposed on Lynch is a fine of £50,000, but it is imposed in the light of the information and undertakings contained in the plea bargain agreement between the BHA and Lynch dated 24 June 2009.

    Darren Williams
    13. When Williams filed his Appendix S form (which gives formal answers to allegations that are to be the subject of an Enquiry) he admitted breach of Rule 243 over 5 of the 6 instances alleged against him and also admitted wrongly associating with Rodgers, a disqualified person.

    14. On 25 June 2009, the Panel was due to consider whether Williams was in breach of the Rules in the remaining aspects alleged, namely over supply of inside information for the run of HARRY POTTER at Haydock on 5 June 2004, and over non-cooperation with the enquiry.

    15. At the outset, however, the BHA and Williams (who was represented by Mr Christopher Stewart-Moore) agreed a “Basis of Admission” which accepted that he was not guilty of any wrongdoing beyond the admissions made by Williams in his Appendix S form.

    16. The Panel was also prepared to act on this basis, because a contested hearing about the HARRY POTTER matter and the non-cooperation allegations was not going to make any material difference to penalty even if found proved.

    17. The starting point for penalty in William’s case was, therefore, the entry point recommendation for a Rule 243 breach, which is a disqualification of 18 months. To that must be added a considerable amount to reflect two aggravating features – the repetition of the breaches and the fact that these concerned supply of inside information to a man whom he knew to be disqualified, for which he sometimes used a phone he kept secret from the Jockey Club.

    18. Against that needs to be set the fact that Williams too has suffered a near 18 month suspension of his licence while awaiting and undergoing the Old Bailey trial. He too was paid compensation at Injured Jockey Fund rates for this time, so by no means all of the 18 month period can come off Williams’ penalty. Furthermore, in his case, the opportunity lost was not perhaps as significant as it was in Lynch’s case: there is reason to believe that his loss of earnings compensation was a nearer match for the lost chance to progress his career.

    19. The Panel also recognised that the delay itself provided reason to reduce penalty here, as it did with Lynch.

    20. Williams also had a number of important points in his favour compared with Lynch. First, and foremost, his was not a case of stopping any horse, as Lynch admitted he had done with BOND CITY. Secondly, his admissions came at an early and appropriate stage of the enquiry (in his Appendix S form). Thirdly, this “Basis of Admissions” agreed by the BHA accepted that Williams supplied Rodgers with inside information in return for the favour of rides rather than for cash payment.

    21. The BHA addressed the Panel on the appropriate penalty, because there had simply been agreed admissions by Williams, not a full blown plea bargain as there was with Lynch. The suggestion was a disqualification of between 4 and 6 months. Williams’ representative told the Panel that his client lacked any means to pay any fine, and drew attention to the mitigating features referred to already. But he did not suggest that disqualification (or even suspension, which the Panel raised as an option) were wrong in principle.

    22. The Panel’s judgement was that the fair penalty in all the circumstances canvassed above was a disqualification of 3 months, to run from 26 June 2009 to 25 September 2009, both dates inclusive.

    8th July 2009

    Notes for Editors:

    1. The Panel was: Tim Charlton QC, Nicky Vigors and Didi Powles.

    2. R v Goodyear [2005] EWCA Crim 888 – set out a procedure for allowing the defence to seek an indication of likely sentence once a guilty plea had been entered.

    3. Page 41, note 5 of the Guide to Procedures & Penalties states: “The Panel should have regard to the current guideline at the date of its decision on penalty provided that it must not apply a penalty greater in its effect or different in kin from that which it would have the power to impose under the Rules of Racing in force at the time of the offence(s).”

    4. The races in question were:

    HORSE DATE JOCKEY TRAINER COURSE SP RESULT
    Bonjour Bond 30.03.04 Lynch Bryan Smart Southwell 5/1 4/9
    John O’Groats 21.05.04 Lynch Michael Dods Ayr 14/1 14/14
    Little Biscuit 29.05.04 Williams Karl Burke Musselburgh 4/1 5/9
    Harry Potter 05.06.04 Williams Karl Burke Haydock 13/2 9/10
    Vanbrugh 16.06.04 Williams Denise McHale Southwell 9/1 9/13
    Tinian 18.06.04 Williams Karl Burke Ayr 4/1 4/10
    Romil Star 25.06.04 Williams Karl Burke Southwell 5/1 2/9
    Wares Home 30.06.04 Williams Karl Burke Yarmouth 5/1 3/11
    Kristikhab 16.07.04 Lynch Alan Berry Carlisle 9/2 7/10
    Bond Babe 31.08.04 Lynch Bryan Smart Ripon 9/2 3/13
    Familiar Affair 31.08.04 Lynch Bryan Smart Ripon 9/1 1/7
    Bond City 31.08.04 Lynch Bryan Smart Ripon 9/2 2/8

    #238522
    Goldikova
    Member
    • Total Posts 1537

    They should have chucked the book at him. What happens with money they get from fines, in terms of distribution ?

    #238532
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    Wasn’t Lynch compensated for his inactivity during the police and BHA investigations, Paul? And whether or not plea-bargaining is common practice in all areas of (supposed) justice, it doesn’t automatically follow that it should be accepted.

    The assertion that Lynch’s ‘offer’ of not riding in the UK for twelve months equates to a ban of the same length is utterly ludicrous, in that he is still able to do his job (albeit in a different country) and has no BHA-issued label following him around. As I understand it, were he to actually be banned, then a notice would be forwarded to other racing jurisdictions suggesting that he not be granted a license to ride.

    So, in effect, he’s delayed proceedings by choosing to admit his guilt only when everything looked like going pear-shaped, is still able to ride when he should otherwise be banned and has merely had to pay back the compensation he was given by the BHA in the first place (either that or he’s dipped into the pot he squirrelled away when pulling the detailed animals).

    Were I more directly involved with racing I’m fairly sure this situation would have me in tears, through sheer embarassment as much as anything else. As it is I find myself oddly amused, knowing as I do that this sort of thing could only happen under the BHA’s governance.

    Who needs Big Brother for a dose of reality television, when an afternoon with the BHA is so much more entertaining?

    #238543
    Pompete
    Member
    • Total Posts 2391

    Us mugs (straight owners and punters alike who pay for this ******* lot) are quite a hardy bunch. We all know the games bend from top to bottom, we all know the people that run it wouldn’t be out of place in a Carry On film and we know there is sod all anybody really wants to do about it – but nevertheless we carry on taking what little pleasure we can from what should be the greatest sport in town – in the hope that one day it may all change.

    So, when one of the little ***** is caught – banged to rights that is – WE EXPECT THE LITTLE ******* TO BE KICKED OUT OF THE ******* GAME, at the very least imvho.

    Hopefully, there maybe a case for the police to follow up on here if he has admitted telling pokies in court – it’s our only hope of any justice.

    #238555
    Nor1
    Member
    • Total Posts 384

    Following on from your last comment

    Pompete

    I presume Fergal Lynch did commit perjury at the Old Bailey’s trial because Bond City was listed as one of the horses in question.
    Can/will anything happen? Does the Gambling Act 2005 have a role in this as well?

    #238565
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Hopefully, there maybe a case for the police to follow up on here if he has admitted telling pokies in court – it’s our only hope of any justice.

    Presumably you will be making a complaint to the police in that case?

    #238571
    Katy
    Member
    • Total Posts 73

    I hate fergal lynch with a passion :evil: :evil: even more so after reading this

    I know how much work and effort that went into getting Bonjour Bond onto a racetrack (he was a complete fruitloop – but a gorgeous one at that!), never mind getting placed and to see him blatenty "bragging" for a better word about delibertaly loosing the race shows what contempt he has, not only for the punters, but the owners, trainer and staff who work with the horses. I hope if he ever comes back he will be booed off the racecourses and have rotten things chucked at him as its all he deserves.

    #238574
    Nor1
    Member
    • Total Posts 384

    Hi

    Katy

    The name of the horse mentioned in both the Guardian and during the trial was Bond City. Perhaps the Guardian got it wrong.

    #238585
    Tom
    Member
    • Total Posts 205

    This confirms it…

    Only mugs bet on horses.

    #238587
    TheThrowback
    Member
    • Total Posts 31

    I hope if he ever comes back he will be booed off the racecourses and

    have rotten things chucked at him

    as its all he deserves.

    That’s not very nice. I’m sure his mum loves him – well, assuming his mum was in on who he was hooking up, that is.

    #238589
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3177

    Would be wrong to tar the whole family with the same brush to be honest. Fergal and Shane may be a bit shifty but from what I hear Cathal is one of the good guys :)

    #238594
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Hi

    Katy

    The name of the horse mentioned in both the Guardian and during the trial was Bond City. Perhaps the Guardian got it wrong.

    Nor, if you look at the final note in the judgement it makes reference to both Bond City and Bonjour Bond

    #238610
    Zamorston
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1139

    Having been on a break from racing around that time and only hearing of this incident lately, what exactly did Lynch do to stop the horse from winning?

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