Appeal Board Graham Bradley Penalty Decisions and Reasons
Published: 2 April 2003
NOTE: The Appeal Board are making publicly available their ‘Decisions and Reasons’ covering each of the days of Mr Bradley’s appeal.
In all there are three documents; the first dealing with the legality of the appeal hearing, the second with the specific breaches of the Rules considered by the Appeal Board and the third with the decisions and reasons given by the Appeal Board in relation to the penalty imposed upon Mr Bradley.
Documents I & II can be found under the heading Enquiry Results, the final document outlining the reasons relating to penalty can be found by clicking on the ‘News’ section (Press Releases) where it is reproduced alongside the Appeal Board Calendar notice. All three documents are signposted on the Jockey Club’s home page.
BEFORE THE APPEAL BOARD OF THE JOCKEY CLUB
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPEAL BY MR GRAHAM BRADLEY
Sir Edward Cazalet
Mr Anthony Mildmay-White
Mrs David Whitaker
Mr Graham Bradley – Appellant
The Jockey Club – Respondent
DECISIONS AND REASONS ON PENALTIES
1.1. On the grounds set out in our Reasons dated the 31st March 2003, we have dismissed Mr. Bradley’s appeal against all breaches of the Rules of Racing (the Rules) found against him by the Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club following the three day enquiry which started on the 27th November 2002. It is to be noted that Mr Bradley abandoned his appeal in respect of two breaches.
1.2. Mr. Bradley appeals against the penalties imposed upon him by the Disciplinary Committee on the basis that each penalty imposed was disproportionate under the ground of appeal set out under paragraph 19 of Appendix J of the Rules.
1.3. Before we proceed further, we consider it to be helpful to refer to paragraphs 3.5 to 3.9 of our Reasons on the liability appeal. A summary of the background history to this case is set out in these paragraphs.
1.4. We turn first to consider the four most serious findings made against Mr. Bradley. These were in respect of his breaches of Rules 62(ii) (c), 204(iv), 220(vii) (b) and 220(viii). For the collective breach of these four Rules, Mr. Bradley was disqualified for eight years. This disqualification will have the most serious impact upon him because he will be debarred over that period from entry into any racecourse or other premises owned, used or licensed by the Jockey Club. This will, in reality, debar him from dealing as a bloodstock agent (see, in particular, the effect of Rule 205(vi) of the Rules).
1.5. In its Reasons, the Disciplinary Committee stated its findings and grounds for imposing the particular penalty. We record the relevant parts of those Reasons in respect of the four Rules in question:
i) Rule 62(ii) (c) and Rule 204(iv)
The Committee was satisfied that in the course of the trial of Mr. Barrie John Wright at Southampton Crown Court, Mr. Bradley had given evidence and admitted that between 1984 and 1999, he was providing privileged information about horses, including horses he was riding in races, to Brian Brendan Wright and his betting Organisation in return for presents and financial advantage. It was further satisfied that this information did not relate to horses owned by Brian Brendan Wright.
The Committee found Mr. Bradley’s explanation that the only information which he had passed to Brian Brendan Wright related to Border Tinker, which Brian Brendan Wright owned, and that his terrible memory for dates led him to referring to the 1990s, when he meant the 1980s, as wholly unconvincing.
ii) Rules 220(vii) (b) and 220(viii)
The Committee was satisfied that when Mr. Bradley had informed the Licensing Committee, on the 21st June 1999, that “they never ask you questions about will a horse win, will a horse not win, and I haven’t done anything wrong with any of them people, I promise you”, he was referring to, amongst others, Brian Brendan Wright. The Committee was further satisfied that in the course of the trial of Mr. Barrie John Wright at Southampton Crown Court, Mr. Bradley gave evidence that Brian Brendan Wright used to telephone him for privileged information and in return would receive money and presents. Accordingly, the Committee found that Mr. Bradley had provided inaccurate information in relation to the administration and control of racing.
Mr Bradley’s contention that :
(a) he should have had a lawyer present at the meeting with the Licensing Committee and should not have been advised by the Committee that the presence of a lawyer was unnecessary;
(b) it was a private meeting;
was not, in the Disciplinary Committee’s opinion, grounds for dismissing these charges.
The Committee was further satisfied that Mr. Bradley, when making the statements to the Licensing Committee set out above, was endeavouring to mislead the Licensing Committee in connection with the administration and control of racing.
iii) In breach of the four Rules, namely Rules 62(ii) (c), 204(iv), 220(vii) (b) and 220(viii) the Committee declared Mr. Bradley to be a disqualified person for eight years. The reasons for such disqualification were stated as follows:
a) The seriousness of the offences;
b) The length of time covered by the breaches of Rules 62(ii) (c) and 204(iv);
c) The penalty should act as a deterrent to other jockeys;
d) The advice given in the booklet headed Jockey Club Guide to Procedures and Penalties, with regard to breaches of Rules 220(vii) (b) and 220(viii).
THE IMPORTANCE TO RACING OF MAINTAINING ITS INTEGRITY
1.6. The seriousness of the breach of these Rules stems additionally from the impact that such may be expected to have on the reputation of racing in general. The well-being of racing is founded on its integrity, actual and perceived. If that perception is compromised, then various undesirable consequences will flow. Owners will not invest in the industry if they believe that it is corrupt, and it is the owners who provide the runners, the life-blood of racing, without which the sport cannot survive. Furthermore, the public will not bet on horse racing if they believe that they are not betting in a fair market. It should be remembered that it has been, to a large degree, the taxed income from betting, the “Betting Levy” which has funded the sport/industry. The new media rights charges are equally sensitive to integrity, as there would be a sharp fall in those who would be prepared to pay such charges within a corrupt sport. The standard of racing in this country is universally regarded as high, many of the best thoroughbreds in the world are bred in the British Isles and race here. If this position is to be retained, then it is essential that the integrity of the sport is fully protected.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FOUR RULES
1.7. These particular Rules are an essential part of the Jockey Club’s process in maintaining its integrity.
1.8. The Disciplinary Committee clearly regarded the breaches of Rules 62(ii) (c), 204(iv), 220(vii) (b) and 220(viii) as being serious. We point to the first two reasons in reference to the penalty imposed, namely seriousness and the length of time over which the offence was committed. Mr. Bradley was found to have been passing confidential information in consideration for cash and presents over a period as long as fifteen years. Moreover, Mr. Bradley was passing this confidential information regularly to a major betting Organisation which was, according to Mr Br