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Appeal S L Ross v RIU - Decision (Ruling) of Appeals Tribunal dated 22 October 2020 - Chair, Mr M McKechnie

Created on 27 October 2020

BEFORE AN APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF THE

JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY

UNDER THE RULES OF

GREYHOUND RACING NEW ZEALAND

IN THE MATTER of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing

BETWEEN SHIRLEY LORAINE ROSS

APPELLANT

AND THE RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU)

RESPONDENT

Judicial Committee: Mr Murray McKechnie, Chairman and Mr Noel McCutcheon

Present: Ms Jessica Gilby-Todd and Ms Jessica Mathieson, counsel representing Shirley Ross

Mr Nick Webby, Counsel representing the RIU

Mr Andy Cruickshank, Registrar

DECISION (RULING) OF APPEALS TRIBUNAL

DATED THIS 22nd DAY OF OCTOBER 2020

1. The Appeals Tribunal has today heard the Appeal by Ms Ross in relation to the decision of the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee dated 24 September 2020.

2. Counsel have filed extensive and helpful written submissions and have addressed those before the Tribunal and answered questions asked of them. The Tribunal has determined that it can rule on the Appeals but that given the complexity of the numerous issues raised, a reasons decision will subsequently issue and it has been explained that this will be available in a comparatively short time and circulated to all interested parties.

3. The Tribunal has reached a decision in respect of the Appeals and these are now set out:

a. In respect of the Appeal on the defended Information A8716 the Appeal is dismissed. Shortly stated, the Tribunal has reached a view that it is not necessary to establish a breach of 4.6 of the Health and Welfare Standards to show that the adverse electronic training device in this case what is known as a shock collar was operative or was in use. The evidence put before the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee was that the shock collar which had been fitted to the dog was no longer able to be used this notwithstanding that the photographs show that there was a battery in place.

b. There is an Appeal against the penalty imposed in relation to Information A8716. The Non-Raceday Judicial Committee imposed a period of disqualification of 15 months to be backdated to 13 July 2020. That date, 13 July 2020, was when an Exclusion Notice was served upon Ms Ross. The Tribunal has reached the conclusion that the breach of the relevant Rule did not require a period of disqualification and that it would have been appropriate to impose a suspension. There was some acknowledgement of this by Mr Webby in his realistic submissions for the RIU. The Tribunal takes the view that the appropriate period of suspension should be four months to run from 13 July this year. That will take the period of suspension to 13 November 2020. As a result of the service of the Exclusion Notice, Ms Ross has in reality been in a semi-disqualification situation since that date. She has been able to continue training at her kennels but has not been able to enter greyhounds in races or attend race meetings.

c. We turn then to the Appeals in respect of the admitted breaches under Informations A8717, A8718 and A8719. In respect of the guilty pleas in relation to those Informations the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee imposed a period of disqualification of three months. That was backdated to 13 July 2020. The Tribunal takes the view that the appropriate penalty in relation to those Informations in respect to which guilty pleas were entered would have been a period of suspension, not disqualification. That period of suspension would appropriately be three months from 13 July 2020. It follows that the period of suspension expired on 13 October this year.

d. The Non-Raceday Judicial Committee ordered that Ms Ross pay costs to the RIU in the sum of $1,450. The Tribunal was advised that no submissions were addressed to the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee on the question of costs. Nor were submissions sought by the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee. The decision contains no explanation whatever as to how that figure was arrived at. Today Mr Webby on behalf of the RIU has presented a list of witnesses’ expenses. The most significant is in respect of the witness Dr Malcolm Jansen. The total of the witnesses’ expenses is $1,727.90. The Tribunal rules that a proportion of that shall be paid by Ms Ross. An appropriate percentage is 60 per cent, that is a figure of $1,036.74 which will be paid to the RIU.

The Non-Raceday Judicial Committee ordered that Ms Ross should pay a contribution to the costs of the JCA in the sum of $750. Again, that figure is wholly without explanation. That costs order is quashed, and Ms Ross will not be required to make any payment to the JCA in respect of the Non-Raceday hearing. Given the outcome of today’s proceedings, Ms Ross will not be required to make any payment towards the costs incurred by the JCA for the conduct of this Appeal.

DATED THIS 22nd DAY OF OCTOBER 2020

MURRAY MCKECHNIE

Chairman

Signed pursuant to Rule 73.5

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