1. On 14 December 2011, the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced its decisions on the allegations of breach of the Rules of Racing that were the subject of the recent enquiry. Following that, representations were made by the BHA and those parties who chose to attend about the appropriate penalties to be imposed in the light of those findings, and the Panel sets out below its reasons for the decisions it reached.
2. The penalty range specified in the Guide to Procedures and Penalties (“the Guide”) for a breach of the present day equivalent of Rule 201(v) is a disqualification of between 6 months and 10 years. The recommended entry point is 3 years.
3. No particular aggravating features of Quinn’s conduct was identified by the BHA. For Quinn, his solicitor Mr Mac Neice submitted that the wide penalty range provided in the Guide reflected the wide variety of kinds of breach of the Rule that can occur. In particular the person in breach might or might not receive reward for his part in a corrupt conspiracy. The Panel accepted that point in principle.
4. This was a case where the Panel decided that Quinn received no reward for supplying information to Mr Sines. It was also borne in mind that Quinn has had a long career in racing without any serious disciplinary problems.
5. Nevertheless, all the jockeys must accept the serious consequences of supplying inside information to enable the lay betting against their rides, even when they do this without reward and therefore do not commit the more serious breach of Rule 243 (now Rule (A)36), for which the entry point is likewise a 3 year disqualification.
6. In the circumstances, the Panel decided to impose a disqualification of 6 months from 15 December 2011 until 14 June 2012 inclusive.
7. Doe was in the thick of the conspiracy with Mr Sines and Mr Crickmore and rode in breach of Rule 157 on two occasions. Furthermore, those Rule 157 breaches were of the most serious kind – they were done for reward and in the knowledge that lay bets were arranged by Mr Sines and Mr Crickmore.
8. The entry point penalties for both a breach of the conspiracy Rule 201(v) and a breach of the inside information Rule 243 are the same – 3 years disqualification. For a Rule 157 breach, the Guide provides a range of 5-25 years disqualification, with an entry point of 8 years in cases where (as happened here) the jockey has deliberately not ridden to obtain the best possible placing for personal reward or knowing that the horse had been layed to lose.
9. For the Rule 157 breaches, the Panel imposed a composite penalty of 10 years disqualification. For his involvement in the conspiracy and for passing inside information, a composite penalty of 5 years disqualification was imposed. 2 years of this are to run consecutively following the 10 year disqualification for the Rule 157 breaches. This is to reflect the fact that Doe’s involvement in the conspiracy and passing of inside information occurred in races other than those where he rode in breach of Rule 157.
10. The total disqualification period is therefore 12 years from 15 December 2011 until 14 December 2023 inclusive.
11. Given the length of the penalties set out above, the Panel decided not to impose any separate sanction for the breach of Rule (A)45 referred to in the reasons already published, consisting of Doe’s failure to attend and assist at the enquiry. But those subject to the Rules of Racing should be aware that penalties may be imposed in similar circumstances in the future.
12. The Panel saw no material differences between the cases of Doe and Fairley, and therefore imposed the same penalties in his case.
13. He was disqualified for 10 years for the breaches of Rule 157, and for his involvement in the conspiracy in the passing of inside information, a composite penalty of 5 years disqualification was imposed. Again, 2 years of that latter penalty are to run consecutively following the 10 year disqualification for the Rule 157 breaches, for the same reasons.
14. His total disqualification period is 12 years from 15 December 2011 until 14 December 2023 inclusive.
15. The Guide again stipulates an entry point penalty of 3 years disqualification for both of the Rule breaches found against Milczarek. As the conduct which established those breaches is essentially the same, the Panel decided to make the penalties run concurrently.
16. The BHA did not identify any circumstances that made her breaches worse than the “average” case (if there can be such a thing), so as to justify a penalty heavier than a 3 year disqualification.
17. On behalf of Milczarek, her counsel Mr Tom Crockett asked the Panel to take into account three mitigating factors. These were that her conduct had not affected the outcome of the race; that she was doing something on a relatively spur of the moment basis without pre-planning; and that her youth and inexperience should be borne in mind.
18. As for the first point – that her conduct had not affected the outcome of the race – that was not seen as a mitigating factor. If it had, she would have been in breach of Rule 157 and looking at a disqualification at or around the 8 year mark.
19. The second and third points were reflected in the Panel’s eventual decision in this sense. The view was taken that Milczarek was not an instigator of her involvement in the conspiracy, but was recruited. While it is not possible to say that she was put under pressure to do what she did, her personal circumstances (including her relatively young age at the time) at least provided the opportunity for Mr Crickmore to recruit her.
20. The Panel decided that a disqualification of 2 years was the proportionate penalty to impose, effective from 15 December 2011 until 14 December 2013 inclusive.
21. An application to suspend the imposition of this penalty pending a possible appeal was refused. If there is an appeal, such an application is properly considered by the Appeal Board.
22. As a registered owner at the time of the breaches found against him, Mr Sines was subject to the Rules of Racing and is therefore liable in principle to disqualification.
23. The Guide provides a penalty range of between 6 months and 10 years for the breach of Rule 201(v) – now Rule (A)41 – with an entry point of 3 years. For laying his own horse to lose in breach of Rule 247 – now Rule (E)92 – the disqualification ranges 3 months to 10 years with an entry point of 18 months.
24. The conspiracy found here was serious and extensive, and involved the particularly unhappy corruption of Milczarek. In six of the ten races involved, there was either an actual breach of the non-trier’s Rule or preparedness of the jockey in question to ride to lose if necessary. Mr Sines and Mr Crickmore were of course the main movers in organising all of this.
25. The number of cases alone is a serious aggravating feature, and this was the main reason that the Panel determined to impose a disqualification of 10 years for the Rule 201(v) breaches.
26. The size and scale of the Rule 247 breaches, together with the planning of them through concealment of their ownership of IT’S A MANS WORLD warrant a further disqualification of 4 years, to run consecutively to the conspiracy penalty. That produces a total disqualification period of 14 years from 15 December 2011 until 14 December 2025 inclusive.
27. He too was a registered owner at the time of the breaches of the Rules found against him, and is therefore liable in principle to disqualification.
28. The Panel could see no material differences between the cases of Mr Sines and Mr Crickmore, though the brave submission was made on Mr Crickmore’s behalf that he should get a shorter period of disqualification because racing played a more important part in his social life. If it does, the Panel was happy, indeed keen, to interfere with that.
29. Mr Crickmore was disqualified for 10 years for the conspiracy breaches and a consecutive 4 years for the Rule 247 breaches, giving a total period of disqualification of 14 years from 15 December 2011 until 14 December 2025 inclusive.
Liam Vasey, David Kendrick, and Shaun Harris
30. Each of these three is liable just to exclusion under (A)64, because none of them has ever been bound by the Rules of Racing.
31. To reflect its understanding of their relative involvements in the conspiracy, the Panel imposed exclusions on all three, but with a direction that no application to remove this should be considered in the case of Mr Vasey for 5 years, of Mr Kendrick for 4 years, or of Mr Harris for 3 years.
Nick Gold and Peter Gold
32. The Panel adjourned consideration of their cases until written submissions were filed.
33. Those submissions were received on 16 and 19 December 2011, and having considered them, the Panel decided to exercise the power to exclude Mr Nick Gold and Mr Peter Gold under Rule (A)64.
34. While it was of course recognised that the Panel had concluded they were not aware of the arrangements that Mr Sines and Mr Crickmore made in a number of instances to secure jockeys’ agreement to ride to lose if necessary, they were engaged from the outset in providing Mr Sines and Mr Crickmore with their largest and most convenient route to the lay betting markets. And they did this in the knowledge that inside information inspired the selections, even if they did not know that the information sometimes extended to include agreements by jockeys to lose if necessary.
35. The Panel therefore imposed exclusions, with a direction that an application to remove this should not be considered in the case of Mr Nick Gold for 7 years and should not be considered in the case of Mr Peter Gold for 5 years.