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Jockey cops 10-year ban over betting conspiracy

A British jockey has been banned for 10 years over his part in a betting conspiracy involving five horses.

Eddie Ahern, a Group 1 winner, received the disqualification at the end of a British Horseracing Authority corruption hearing.

The 35-year-old was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to betting on five horses between September 2010 and February 2011.

He was also found to have intentionally failed to ensure Judgethemoment was ridden on its merits at Lingfield in January 2011, and of passing information for reward.

Former West Bromwich Albion footballer Neil Clement, 34, was banned from the sport for a total of 15 years and three months, and fined £3000. He was charged over the five races in which Ahern rode, and also in relation to betting on Hindu Kush, who he then owned, when that horse finished last of six at Kempton in February 2011.

He was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in placing a lay bet on Hindu Kush, and of a failure to provide phone records.

Ahern has indicated through his solicitor that he intends to appeal.

The disciplinary panel comprised Tim Charlton, QC, Richard Gould and Celina Carter.

The panel dismissed charges against Martin Raymond and his close associate, Paul Hill, a professional gambler, arising from the same investigation. The pair had been accused of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice.

Two other individuals involved in the investigation but both entered guilty pleas. Their hearings were heard separately.

Michael Turl was disqualified for 24 months and fined £10,000; and James Clutterbuck was disqualified for 30 months.

The authority’s director of integrity, legal and risk, Adam Brickell, said: “Today’s findings have confirmed that another network of corruption has been successfully prosecuted by the BHA.

“The clear message from this, and other cases heard in the last 18 months, should be that the BHA is better equipped than ever at pinpointing and prosecuting malpractice. The penalties imposed as a result of these cases being heard should serve as a deterrent to others.

“The links we have developed with betting organisations and the advances made in our sharing of data and intelligence mean that we are increasingly effective at gathering evidence that leads to prosecutions.

“This investigation was another landmark in terms of our intelligence and evidence-gathering capabilities as it was the first occasion on which we have received assistance from a spread betting company to bring a successful prosecution.

“We have now sought and received significant co-operation on a voluntary basis from more than one such firm and we hope that this is a resource we will continue to be able to turn to in future investigations. Meanwhile, we continue to await Government’s improvements to the overall legislative framework that will ensure all operators are mandated to share such information with us, and other sporting bodies.”

The panel said in its decision that Ahern was an experienced and capable flat jockey.

He had co-operated with investigators, it said.

“That said, there was little if any dispute about primary facts.

“In summary, the panel concluded that Ahern and Mr Clement were complicit in the lay betting against Ahern rides organised by Mr Clement on the basis of inside information supplied by Ahern.

“While it has not been possible to identify exactly what that inside information was in four of the five cases, it was clear to the panel that Ahern had information to supply because he had ridden the horses before.

“In the case of Judgethemoment, it was clear to the panel that the inside information consisted of an indication that Ahern would ride to lose.

“Although Ahern denied receipt of money or some other reward for his part, the panel rejected that evidence, too. Again, the case of Judgethemoment was a clinching reason for this. It was inconceivable to the panel that he was not taking reward when riding to lose in that way.”

 

Horsetalk.co.nz

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