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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v H Mullane - Written Decision dated 25 September 2017 - Chair, Mr P Williams

Created on 27 September 2017

BEFORE THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY

UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003

AND IN THE MATTER of the Rules of New Zealand Greyhound Racing Authority (Incorporated)

BETWEEN

RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU) - Informant

AND

HAYLEY MULLANE - Respondent

Judicial Committee:

Mr Paul Williams (Chairman), Mr Noel McCutcheon (Committee Member)

Appearing:

Mr Gavin Whiterod, for the RIU as the Informant

Ms Hayley Mullane

Date of Written Decision:

25 September 2017

DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

1] The respondent, Ms Hayley Mullane is a licensed greyhound trainer under the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing. It is alleged in Information A3382: -

THAT on Sunday 10 September 2017 at a race meeting conducted by the Auckland Greyhound Racing Club at Auckland Hayley Mullane allowed a greyhound to run loose onto the track. An alleged breach of Rule 85.4(b) of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing.

2] A teleconference was held with the parties on 19 September 2017 and it was agreed the matter would be heard “on the papers”. Deadlines for the receipt of submissions from the parties were agreed and these deadlines have been met.

3] Ms Mullane acknowledged receipt of Information A3382 on 17 September 2017 and indicated she did admit a breach of the Rule. The hearing of this matter is therefore in terms of Rule 66.3(f) of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing.

4] As the Information was filed on a raceday (albeit not the raceday the breach of the Rule occurred) the requirement for the consent from the General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit authorising the filing of the Information in terms of Rule 66.2(a) was not required.

SUMMARY OF FACTS AND PENALTY SUBMISSIONS FROM THE RIU

5] “On 10 September 2017 I was the Steward in Charge at the Auckland GRC meeting and during the day I was advised by Mr Ben Van Kan, the Assistant Steward, that a Greyhound had escaped from a vehicle and made its way onto the racetrack between races. Mr Van Kam then established that the dog was trained by Ms Hayley Mullane and after speaking with her she freely admitted that it was her responsibility and that she would be admitting a breach of the Rules.

After considering a charge under Rule 86.6 of the Minor Infringement Table the Stewards believed that the $300 fine under that Rule was excessive when taking into account the excellent overall record of Ms Mullane and the fact that she had freely admitted the breach. As a result, a charge under Rule 85.4(b) was preferred and a fine of $50 was imposed.

After being advised by the JCA that in fact was not acceptable due to being outside the Minor Infringement Table, I then presented a new Information to Ms Mullane who duly signed the form and again admitted a breach of the Rules.

I do understand that it is now over to the JCA to determine if there is to be a penalty imposed and if so what that penalty may be. After taking into account the very good record of Ms Mullane and the fact that she has freely admitted the breach, I believe a small monetary penalty would be appropriate in this instance”.

RESPONSE TO THE RIU’S SUMMARY OF FACTS AND PENALTY SUBMISSIONS FROM THE RESPONDENT

6] “I have read the Summary of Facts and Penalty Submissions and agree in full that I take responsibility for this instance. The dog in question pushed past my handler while she was attempting to get him from the trailer and slipped his collar just as the lure started (my handler had managed to get the lead onto his collar while he was in the trailer but hadn’t managed to adjust his collar before he jumped out and slipped his collar). I am thankful for the request of $50 to be imposed rather than the $300 as this is my first offence but also understand that this could have been more serious had there been a race running so will accept my penalty as the JCA see fit”.

DECISION

7] As Ms Mullane has admitted the breach of the Rule the charge is found proved.

REASONS FOR PENALTY

8] Further to comments in the RIU’s Summary of Facts and for completeness, when the original Information alleging a breach of Rule 85.4(b) was received by the JCA it was in the form of a Minor Infringement Notice. As Rule 85.4(b) is not part of the current Minor Infringement Table of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing the Information was returned to the RIU. Mr Whiterod then issued another Information (A3382) which Ms Mullane endorsed and signed saying she admitted the breach.

9] Rule 85.4 of the NZGRA Rules of Racing states: -

A Licensed Person must not permit a Greyhound, which is under the person’s care or custody to be in or on a public place unless the Greyhound:

a) Has a securely fixed muzzle on its mouth in such a manner as will prevent it biting a person or animal: and

b) Is under the effective control of some competent person by means of a leash of leather, or other durable material, which is securely fastened to the collar worn by that Greyhound.

10] Ms Mullane does not dispute the evidence provided by Mr Whiterod and provided a full and helpful explanation as to what happened on 10 September 2017 and why. Had Ms Mullane been charged under Rule 86.6, which requires trainers to fulfil their obligations regarding the proper care of greyhounds whilst on a racecourse, she would have been fined $300 in terms of the Minor Infringement Table of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing. However, the JCA has no guidelines for determining the starting point for a breach of Rule 85.4(b) although the Committee is aware of a greyhound trainer being fined $100 on 16 January 2014 when he allowed a greyhound to escape onto the track at Cambridge.

11] The Committee has decided a fine is an appropriate penalty on this occasion and has adopted as a starting point a penalty of $300. We have then taken into account this is Ms Mullane’s first breach of the Rule which she readily admitted, the fact she has fully cooperated with the RIU and that, fortunately, her greyhound escaped between races and was recaptured before the next race was due to start. We believe those mitigating factors justify a reduction of $150 in the penalty from the starting point of $300.

PENALTY

12] Ms Mullane is fined $150.

Paul Williams       Noel McCutcheon

Chair                   Committee Member

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