Appeal Board findings regarding David M Greenwood, Michael Stainton, Kevin Ackerman and Kenneth Mackay

06 Jan 2016 Appeal Board

The Decision and the Reasons for the Appeal Board’s Decision on the appeals lodged by former registered owner David M Greenwood, former licensed jockey Michael Stainton, former registered owner Kenneth Mackay and Kevin Ackerman have today been published by the Appeal Board.

The Appeal Board’s Decision and full written Reasons can be found here.

The conclusions reached by the Appeal Board, Chairman Bruce Blair QC, Christopher Hodgson and Jeremy Phillips, are:

“In the above circumstances and for the above Reasons the Appellants have in our judgment fallen well short of establishing merit in their grounds of appeal. The fundamental findings and conclusions of the Panel were fully available to them on the evidence acting as a reasonable Panel. The Reasons given by the Panel were sufficient. They were not against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. The appeals are accordingly dismissed.”

As such the findings of breach of the Rules found by the Disciplinary Panel and published on 9 September 2015 with its Reasons published on 9 October 2015 and penalties imposed by the Disciplinary Panel, as set out on 12 October 2015, stand, subject to Michael Stainton’s appeal against Penalty and the quashing of the fine imposed upon Kevin Ackerman:

  • for the breaches of Rule (A)41 and (B)58.2 David M Greenwood was disqualified for 6 years; and for the breach of Rule (A)50.2 for 2 years – a total of 8 years which runs until 11 October 2023, inclusive
  • for the breaches of Rule (A)41 and (B)58.1 Michael Stainton was disqualified for 2 years until 11 October 2017, inclusive
  • for the breach of Rule (A)41.1 Kevin Ackerman was excluded for 6 months. The penalty imposed upon Mr Ackerman was subject to an application for a stay of penalty which was implemented on 6 November 2015. As a consequence the six month exclusion penalty continues today with 25 days credited against it for the period of exclusion he was under prior to the stay. Therefore, Mr Ackerman will be an excluded person from today until 11 June 2016. The Appeal Board quashed, at the invitation of the BHA, the financial penalty imposed upon Mr Ackerman by the Disciplinary Panel.
  • for the breach of Rule (A)41.1 Kenneth Mackay was disqualified for 6 months, until 11 April 2016, inclusive.

A separate appeal relating to the penalty imposed upon Michael Stainton was also lodged and will be considered in due course.

Speaking about the decision, Adam Brickell, Director of Integrity, Legal and Risk for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said:

“This has been a wide-ranging and complex case, as reflected by the necessarily detailed document produced by the Appeal Board today. It has been time consuming and resource intensive over a substantial period of time, but that investment is more than justified if it is necessary to address issues such as this, which strike at the very integrity of our sport.

“The Appeal Board judged that the appellants fell well short of establishing merit in their grounds of appeal and the original decision of the Disciplinary Panel has therefore been upheld.

“The Disciplinary Panel had already found that David M Greenwood was the main conspirator in this case, and that he had corrupted Michael Stainton for his own hoped-for financial gain. Further, Mr Greenwood had failed to co-operate with the investigation by not attending an interview or producing telephone records. As is often the case, this type of non-cooperation was a major factor in the complexity of the case and the time taken to bring it to a conclusion.

“The Disciplinary Panel had also recognised that Michael Stainton committed serious offences, though very much under the influence of Mr Greenwood. Everyone involved in the sport, especially licensed personnel, should be aware of the risks of getting drawn into such conspiracies by corruptors. Ultimately, it is each individual’s responsibility to avoid temptation and comply with the Rules, and to speak to the BHA or their representative body if they have any concerns. 

“However, we recognise that there is also an important role for the BHA to play in providing advice, assistance, and support to the sport’s participants. This theme is likely to feature prominently in the upcoming Integrity Review report.

“This case serves as a reminder that the BHA is able to identify corrupt practices, and is committed to investigating such activity, however complex or difficult that investigation might be. If breaches are proved, the penalties can be severe. However tempting the potential rewards might be, it is quite simply never worth taking the risk of getting involved in this type of activity.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The document referred to in the Appeal Board’s reasons as “Appendix A” can be found here.

2. The original, full written reasons of the Disciplinary Panel can be found here.

3. The document referred to as “Appendix B” can be found as “Notes to Editors” number 4 at the link in note 2, above.

4. A hearing to address the appeal by Michael Stainton regarding his penalty will be scheduled in due course.

5. The Board for the Appeal was: Bruce Blair QC (Chair), Christopher Hodgson, Jeremy Philips.

6. An integrity education video, featuring former jockey Fergal Lynch who was himself involved in a corruption case, can be found here.