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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v K Gommans, A Jenkins and D Poutama - Written Reserved Decision dated 7 July 2017 - Chair, Mr P Williams

Created on 14 July 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

KELLIE GOMMANS - Respondent

ADAM JENKINS - Respondent

DARCY POUTAMA - Respondent

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

Appearing:

Mr Nick Webby, for the RIU as the Informant

Mr Simon Irving, Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit

Miss Kellie Gommans, Licensed Trainer, as the Respondent

Mr Adam Jenkins, Registered Owner, as the Respondent

Mr Darcy Poutama, Licensed Person, as the Respondent

Also Present: Mr Neil Goodwin, Registrar

Mr John Gommans, support person for Miss Gommans

Mr Jono Galuszka, Reporter from Fairfax Media

Mr Andy Cruickshank, RIU

Venue: Awapuni Racecourse Palmerston North

Date of Hearing: 27-28 June 2017

Date of Decision: 7 July 2017

WRITTEN RESERVED DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

1] Mr Jenkins appears before this Judicial Committee on the following charge:-

THAT on the 31st March 2017 at Manawatu Racecourse being a Licensed Person, together with Kellie Gommans and Darcy Poutama, engaged in conduct which is detrimental to the image of Greyhound racing – Information A4191

2] Ms Gommans appears before this Judicial Committee on the following charge:-

THAT on the 31st March 2017 at Manawatu Racecourse being a Licensed Person, together with Adam Jenkins and Darcy Poutama, engaged in conduct which is detrimental to the image of Greyhound racing - Information A4192

3] Mr Poutama appears before this Judicial Committee on the following charge:-

THAT on the 31st March 2017 at Manawatu Racecourse being a Licensed Person, together with Kellie Gommans and Adam Jenkins, engaged in conduct which is detrimental to the image of Greyhound racing – Information A4193

4] Rule 87.1q...... states

“Any person (including an Official) commits an offence if he/she: commits or omits to do any act or engages in conduct which is in any way detrimental or prejudicial to the interest, welfare, image, control or promotion of Greyhound racing”.

INTRODUCTION

5] Five teleconferences were held between 11 May and 12 June 2017 in an attempt to progress matters and agree on a hearing date. At the 11 May 2017 teleconference, each Respondent confirmed they had received a copy of their relevant Information along with a document entitled “Charge Rule and Penalty Provisions”. They also agreed that the hearing would be held on Tuesday 13 June 2017. At a teleconference on 24 May 2017 Mr Chris Anderson took part as the representative of Mr Jenkins. Mr Anderson also took part in a teleconference on 29 May 2017 despite having not provided any written confirmation that he was acting on behalf of any of the Respondents. He did say he had advised Mr Jenkins to admit the breach of the Rules but had not received any written instructions from him. In anticipation of receiving advice from Mr Anderson that the three Respondents would each be admitting the breach the RIU “stood down” the witnesses that they intended to have attend the hearing on 13 June 2017.

6] On the morning of 6 June 2017 Mr Anderson advised the Executive Officer of the JCA that he “was no longer having any further formal involvement with respect to this matter”. In a teleconference later that day the three Respondents confirmed that they would not be admitting the breach of the Rules. The RIU then requested the hearing be deferred from 13 June 2017 as new arrangements would have to be made to have their witnesses attend the hearing. There was no objection from the Respondents and a new hearing date of 27 and 28 June 2017 was agreed by all parties.

7] In the Minute confirming details of the 12 June 2017 teleconference each Respondent was asked to confirm to the Executive Officer JCA by email no later than noon on 16 June 2017 if they were being represented at the hearing and, if so, by whom. As of the morning of the hearing that information had not been provided by any of the Respondents.

8] At the start of the hearing Mr Poutama, Miss Gommans and Mr Jenkins each confirmed they understood the Rule under which they had been charged and also that they each denied the charge. Mr Poutama and Miss Gommans each said they were being represented by Mr Jenkins and Mr Jenkins said he was representing himself.

9] Prior to the hearing commencing Mr Webby produced three signed authorities from the General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit, Mr M Godber, dated 10 April 2017 authorising the filing of the Informations pursuant to Rule 91.2(a), copies of which had previously been sent to the Respondents.

BACKGROUND

10] During the week of 27 March – 1 April 2017 the Manawatu RC, Manawatu HRC and Palmerston North GRC took part in “the City of Palmerston North Gold Cup Festival”. The week’s racing culminated with “Sires Produce” day at Awapuni on Saturday 1 April. During the previous evening a dual code Greyhound Racing/Harness Racing meeting was held at the Manawatu Raceway. The greyhound meeting commenced at 3.35pm with the last race being run at 6.40pm. The Harness meeting commenced at 5.19pm with the last race being run at 9.19pm. This Non Raceday Inquiry relates to alleged incidents that occurred at the Raceway towards the end of the harness race meeting on 31 March 2017.

INFORMANTS CASE

11] Mr Webby said each of Respondents faced one charge under Rule 87.1.q of engaging in conduct which is detrimental to the image of Greyhound racing at the dual code meeting on 31 March 2017 at the Manawatu Raceway, the meeting being part of the “Gold Cup Festival”. Mr Webby listed the witnesses he would be calling and said he would be asking for an Evidential Statement from a witness who was unable to attend the hearing to be read out with the agreement of both parties.

12] Mr Webby’s first witness was GRNZ licensed person Mr Brendon Cole. Mr Cole said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 with his wife and daughter and several other members of the greyhound racing fraternity including several GRNZ Board Members. He said he was in the lower part of the public stand to the right of and close to the main doors. He said the first thing he saw was Mr Poutama throw something at Mr Jenkins who at the time had his back to Mr Poutama. Both were positioned in front of and close to the main doors to the grandstand. He thought it was a drink or a cup and it hit Mr Jenkins in the back of the neck. Mr Cole then said there appeared to be heated words between Mr Jenkins and Mr Poutama before Mr Jenkins walked away. A short while later Mr Jenkins returned and Mr Cole said that Mr Poutama attempted to hit Mr Jenkins in the back of the head and it was this that caused the situation to escalate. He said Mr Jenkins was “fired up” and another person who he presumed was a friend of Mr Poutama arrived and began fighting with Mr Jenkins. Mr Cole said he remained in the grandstand as the fight made its way down the hill and close to the fence on the outside of the race track. Mr Cole said there must have been at least 100 people who saw the fighting and several tried to break it up including Craig Roberts, Mr Jenkins’ father (Mr Bruce Jenkins) and Mr Irving. Mr Cole said he saw Miss Gommans go down to where the trouble was and saw her trying to restrain Mr Adam Jenkins but said he wasn’t at that stage paying too much attention to what she was doing.

13] Mr Cole said the next thing he saw was Miss Gommans kick Mr Poutama in the crutch and attempt to hit him when they were both close to the front of the grandstand.

14] Mr Webby then asked Mr Cole to look at several pages of still images taken from Trackside coverage of the 31 March 2017 race meeting. Referring to page 5 Mr Webby pointed out a man in dark trousers, white tee shirt and a black hat and asked Mr Cole if that was the person Mr Cole had earlier referred to as Mr Poutama’s friend. Mr Cole said it was. Using the same image, Mr Webby then pointed out a woman in black skirt or dress holding a man in a white shirt and asked Mr Cole if the man was Mr Adam Jenkins. Mr Cole said that it was hard to tell but it did look like Adam. To a question from Mr Webby Mr Cole reiterated that a lot of people had seen and were fully aware of what was going on, many were laughing and there were GRNZ Board members watching who were not impressed with what they saw. Mr Cole confirmed that from his position inside the grandstand he could not hear anything that was said during the incidents.

15] Mr Jenkins referred Mr Cole to page 2 of his Evidential Statement where Mr Cole said, “they started again all having heated words with each other” and asked how he could say that when he said during his evidence that he couldn’t hear anything that was said. Mr Cole said he was close to the main doors and could hear a lot of noise coming from the group Mr Jenkins was part of but not the specific detail of the conversations. Mr Jenkins then referred to Trackside still image number 4 and asked Mr Cole who was restraining him in that image. Mr Cole said it was Miss Gommans.

16] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Cole if Miss Gommans was being restrained at the time she allegedly kicked out at Mr Poutama and Mr Cole said she was but he did not know by whom.

17] Mr Jenkins then asked Mr Cole if he had “any beef” with Mr Poutama prior to 31 March 2017 and he said he didn’t. To a further question Mr Cole said he had had dealings with Mr Poutama in the past but reiterated he had no beef with him.

18] Miss Gommans and Mr Poutama had no questions of Mr Cole.

19] Mr Webby asked Mr Cole to describe what was happening when Miss Gommans kicked out at Mr Poutama. Mr Cole said there were a lot of people around and somebody was definitely holding on to her trying to pull her back.

20] The second witness for the RIU was public greyhound trainer Ms Marcelle Flipp. Ms Flipp said she was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017. She said she initially left the greyhound meeting sometime after race 2 and returned later and was with several people including Mr Dave Emmerson, Mr Craig Rendle, Mr Greg Kerr and Mr Brendon Cole in the lower part of the main grandstand closest to the birdcage. She said the grandstand was not overly full but there were a lot of people still on the lawn in front of the grandstand. She said her first recollection of things was seeing a group of people including Mr Adam Jenkins talking to a man who she now knows to be his father Mr Bruce Jenkins. The group were close to and slightly to the right of the main doors to the grandstand. She said there was no fighting but it was clear to her that Adam was getting agitated and his father was holding onto him and trying to calm him down. She also said Mr Poutama was there but she didn’t see him do anything. Ms Flipp said Andre Neal (the on-course MC for the night) then came across and appeared to calm things down and Adam then walked away past the front of the grandstand and out of her sight and remained out of her sight for about 15 minutes. Ms Flipp confirmed she couldn’t hear anything that was being said but she emphasised that she had a clear view of what was going on.

21] Ms Flipp said the next thing she saw was Mr Adam Jenkins walking past her back up to the area where she had previously seen him. She said she saw a guy in a baseball cap come towards Adam with his fists up and egging him on. She said Adam had his back towards her and the next thing it erupted into a fight. She said by this time the last harness race had started. She added that she saw Miss Gommans come over and try to stop things and then it was “all on” with Adam, Miss Gommans and the man in the baseball cap rolling around on the grass with arms and legs going everywhere and that this lasted between 1 and 2 minutes.

22] People then came in pulled them all apart and then Ms Flipp saw Miss Gommans and Adam walking up towards the grandstand and over to the birdcage fence. It was at this point Ms Flipp said she also saw Mr Irving and Mr Bruce Jenkins with Adam. She also saw Sarah Voyce trying to get Miss Gommans out of it and said at that point Miss Gommans was just standing there and then moved away. Ms Flipp said that once everybody had got up off the grass there were no more punches thrown.

23] Ms Flipp said the crowd were paying more attention to the fight than the race. She said she saw a young girl who seemed to be upset and added that a couple of women had come up to Ms Flipp and said that the girl was clearly scared about what she had seen. Ms Flipp said she was not impressed with what she had seen and such actions tarnished the image of greyhound racing and its participants and she wondered because of what had happened whether a similar Gold Cup festival meeting or any future dual code meetings would be held next season. She also said she was aware that details of the incident had been published in the Christchurch Press the following day which was also very embarrassing for the industry.

24] In conclusion Ms Flipp confirmed that the male in Trackside image number 5 with the baseball cap on was the person with the cap on she had seen previously. She also identified Miss Gommans and Mr Adam Jenkins as also being in the picture.

25] Mr Jenkins asked Ms Flipp if she had seen Mr Poutama do anything and she said she hadn’t. He then asked if she had seen any punches thrown in either of the two incidents and Ms Flipp said she definitely didn’t see any thrown the first time and couldn’t confirm if there were any thrown during the second. Mr Jenkins then asked Ms Flipp to confirm if it appeared that Miss Gommans had come in to try and stop the fight. Ms Flipp said that she saw the man with the baseball cap and Mr Jenkins fighting and then Miss Gommans had “come in”.

26] Neither Miss Gommans nor Mr Poutama had any questions of Ms Flipp and Mr Webby also had no further questions of her.

27] The third witness for the RIU was the Head of Racing at GRNZ Mr Greg Kerr. Mr Kerr said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 with fellow GRNZ Board members Craig Rendle, Trevor Taylor, Sean Hannan, Greg Calverley and David Emmerson. Also present in the group was Brendon Cole. He said the group were in the lower part of the main grandstand and at the end closest to the birdcage. He said earlier in the evening he had moved around the course and kennelling block with some of the trainers and Board members.

28] Mr Kerr said he had met Mr Adam Jenkins who was with Paul Freeman in the grandstand earlier in the evening but had not met Mr Jenkins prior to that. He confirmed he continued to see him on and off throughout the evening. Mr Kerr said that around the time of last race he saw Mr Adam Jenkins making his way to the front of the outside of the grandstand with another male. He then saw a male in a white tee shirt very fired up and having a go at Mr Jenkins. He said Mr Jenkins walked away. The other male followed and then a fight broke out. He said he saw Mr Jenkins hit or slap or push the male around the ear and then they both squared off against each other. He said because he was inside he did not hear anything that was being said.

29] Mr Kerr then said the fight progressed and made its way down the grass slope towards the outside fence with the guys fighting each other on the ground. He saw Mr Bruce Jenkins and Miss Gommans on top of them trying to stop it. Mr Kerr then said he ran down to where the fight was taking place and by the time he got there Mr Adam Jenkins and Miss Gommans were on their feet and walking away with Mr Adam Jenkins in the company of Mr Roberts. The man who had been fighting with Mr Adam Jenkins was also being led away in the opposite direction by another male but at the same time still “giving it” to Mr Jenkins.

30] Mr Kerr was asked to look at Trackside image number 5 and identified the male who had been fighting with Mr Adam Jenkins. He also identified Mr Adam Jenkins and Miss Gommans on the other side of the image and also the person who led away the male who had been fighting with Mr Jenkins.

31] Mr Kerr said that up until this point he could not recall having seen Mr Poutama but then when he did see both Mr Poutama and Miss Gommans they had people holding on to them trying to keep them apart and they were both arguing. He said he saw Miss Gommans lash out at Mr Poutama with her feet and make contact with his leg or outer thigh area. Mr Kerr said at that point he was still outside the grandstand and the “lashing out” took place just by the corner of the birdcage by the walkway that leads out to the passage way that goes under the grandstand out to the car park. Mr Kerr said he couldn’t recall who was restraining both of them as there were lots of people hanging around and couldn’t make out anything that might have been said. He said after Miss Gommans lashed out at Mr Poutama they were separated and went away. Mr Kerr said at that point he went under the grandstand and spoke to Mr Freeman and Mr Irving and then went back into the grandstand.

32] Mr Kerr said there were lots of people and VIP’s still on course who witnessed what had happened. He said as the head of Greyhound Racing there was zero tolerance for this sort of behaviour. He said the Code had had a fair amount of bad publicity in the newspapers and social media and the Anti Greyhound Protection League had sent the newspaper articles about the events that took place during the evening to all MP’s and these incidents just added fuel to the fire. He said the Code needed to clean up its game. He also said he had received several messages from the Racing Board following the incidents and harness racing figures were also unimpressed. He said the industry had put a lot of money into the event and because of what had happened there was some doubt as to whether a similar meeting would be held in the future. He concluded by saying the incidents had done a reasonable amount of damage to greyhound racing.

33] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Kerr if he believed Miss Gommans was trying to break up the fight near the outside fence. Mr Kerr said his impression was that “she was either trying to restrain you, cover you or break it up”. To a further question Mr Kerr said that both Mr Poutama and Ms Gommans were clearly being restrained in an attempt to keep them apart and from arguing and not, as Mr Jenkins suggested, because they both wanted to get away from everything that was going on.

34] Neither Miss Gommans nor Mr Poutama had any questions of Mr Kerr and Mr Webby also had no further questions of him.

35] The fourth witness for the RIU was David Emmerson, a Director on the Board of GRNZ. Mr Emerson said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 with fellow GRNZ Board members Craig Rendle, Trevor Taylor, Sean Hannon, Graeme Calverley as well as Marcie Flipp and some GRNZ staff members. As with the other witnesses Mr Emmerson stated he was in the lower portion of the main grandstand towards the end closest to the birdcage and he remained inside the grandstand for the duration of the incidents.

36] Mr Emmerson said he was sitting next to Ms Flipp and she said something to him which caused him to look outside. He said he saw Mr Poutama going up to an older man to who he now believes was Mr Bruce Jenkins and point towards where Mr Adam Jenkins and Miss Gommans were. Mr Emmerson said Mr Poutama and Mr Bruce Jenkins were right in front of him in front of the grandstand and were pointing to an area close to the outside fence. Mr Emmerson said he thought Mr Adam Jenkins and Miss Gommans were talking and then he saw Mr Bruce Jenkins walk up to the pair of them. Mr Emmerson then said it appeared Mr Bruce Jenkins was trying to calm down Mr Adam Jenkins who appeared edgy but the pair of them started scuffling and had each other in head locks. Miss Gommans was also in close proximity and all three ended up falling to the ground.

37] Mr Emmerson said after a couple of minutes everybody got to their feet and Mr Adam Jenkins and Miss Gommans went across to the birdcage fence with Mr Jenkins standing against the fence. He then said Miss Gommans walked to the concrete path in front the of the grandstand and, despite people trying to restrain her, lashed out at Mr Poutama with her leg hitting him around his waist area. Mr Emmerson said Mr Poutama was not being restrained at the time he was kicked and also that while that was happening Mr Adam Jenkins was still by the birdcage fence with Mr Roberts and Mr Irving. He said that after being kicked Mr Poutama moved away out of his sight. He added he didn’t see where Miss Gommans went but saw Mr Adam Jenkins being led away by Mr Irving.

38] Mr Emmerson said he did not hear anything being said by any of those involved during what he has described above.

39] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Emmerson if Mr Cole was involved in the conversation when Ms Flipp drew his attention to what was going on in front of the grandstand. Mr Emmerson said he wasn’t. Mr Emmerson also said that he did not see Mr Poutama involved in a fracas with him (Mr Adam Jenkins).

40] Neither Miss Gommans nor Mr Poutama had any questions of Mr Emmerson and Mr Webby also had no further questions of him.

41] The fifth witness for the RIU was Trevor Taylor, a Director on the Board of GRNZ. Mr Taylor said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 with fellow GRNZ Board members including Craig Rendle and Dave Emmerson, and was watching the races from the lower portion of the main stand at the far end closest to the birdcage. He said there was a large crowd on course and the dual code meeting had been a well organised and well run event.

42] Mr Taylor said he happened to be looking out around the course and when he was looking to his left he saw three people talking to each other. He said one of the three was Miss Gommans and the older of the two males, he now knows, was Mr Bruce Jenkins. He said the conversation looked agitated and when asked why he came to that view he said it appeared there was “strong talking” going on. Mr Taylor said he didn’t hear anything that was said during what took place.

43] Mr Taylor said the next thing he saw was the younger male from this group of three, who he now knows to be Mr Adam Jenkins, being approached by a younger male in a white shirt and black trousers, the pair of them pushing and shoving and squaring off and the male in the white shirt throwing a punch or a hit at Mr Jenkins. Mr Jenkins was also throwing punches. The younger male then slipped over and disappeared. Mr Taylor said at that point Mr Bruce Jenkins and Miss Gommans were not with Mr Adam Jenkins.

44] Mr Taylor said the next thing he saw was a rush down to the fence on the outside of the track and a melee going on down there but he could not identify who was involved although he did see Miss Gommans rolling around on the ground and possibly also Mr Adam Jenkins. The next thing Mr Taylor said he saw was Mr Adam Jenkins being held against the birdcage fence by his father. Miss Gommans then rushed across and “tried to get involved there”. He said another person then appeared trying to break things up and then Miss Gommans lashed out at someone who was standing on the pathway. He said somebody was trying to drag Miss Gommans away but they did not succeed in doing so. Mr Taylor said he did not know who the person was that was kicked. Mr Adam Jenkins and his father then made their way to the passage way that goes under the grandstand to the car park. He said there were quite a few people down by the birdcage fence who saw what was going on as well as people still in the main grandstand.

45] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Taylor if he could recall seeing Mr Poutama involved in any of the initial incident with himself and Mr Taylor said he had no recollection of Mr Poutama being involved. He also confirmed that Mr Jenkins did not throw the first punch when approached by the younger male and only threw a punch in response to the first one thrown at him. Mr Taylor also said he did not see Mr Jenkins being assaulted at any time when down by the fence and also that he did not see him being kicked whilst on the ground. Mr Taylor did confirm that when Miss Gommans kicked out she was being restrained.

46] Miss Gommans asked Mr Taylor how long was it between the three person conversation described by Mr Taylor at the beginning of his evidence and the “rush down to the front”. Mr Taylor said it was only a few seconds.

47] Mr Poutama had no questions of Mr Taylor.

48] The Committee asked Mr Taylor whether Miss Gommans and Mr Jenkins were rolling on the ground as described by him or scuffling. He said they were scuffling. He was also asked how he could identify individuals in his Evidential Statement as, by his own admission, he was new to Greyhound racing he did not know them at the time. Mr Taylor said he had prepared a statement based on what he saw and, whilst he has since been told who the people were, their names were added afterwards by another person. He did not know who that person was.

49] Mr Webby referred Mr Taylor to Trackside image number 5 and asked him to confirm the identity of certain individuals based on what he had witnessed. He was able to identify the male in the white tee shirt (who punched Mr Adam Jenkins, Miss Gommans and Mr Adam Jenkins.

50] Mr Webby said it had been intended that Mrs Amy Poutama appear as a witness but she was about to have a baby and was unable to attend the hearing. Mr Webby asked that her Evidential Statement be read and Mr Jenkins had no objection to that happening. The Statement was read out by the Registrar and contained the following:-

“I am married to Licenced horseman Andre Poutama and we live in Auckland. Darcy Poutama is my brother-in-law. His girlfriend is Kelly Gommans and they live together in Turakina. On Friday 31st March 2017 I attended the Gold Cup Racing Festival race meeting at Manawatu Raceway. Andre was driving that evening but he didn’t have a drive in the last race.

I wasn't drinking alcohol. We both walked over from the stables to watch the last race. I said to Andre gosh there' s a fight on the lawn. We were both watching the race but I peered over and noticed Kelly Gommans was involved. I said to Andre we need to go and have a look to make sure Darcy's not involved.

By the time we walked past the birdcage and onto the path to the main stand things seemed to have calmed down. I saw Adam Jenkins pinned up against the fence with Kelly next to him. We couldn't see Darcy at that point. We were standing on the path and Darcy came over and stood next to us. He seemed quite calm. I wouldn’ t have been standing where I was in my condition if I thought there was any fighting still going on.

Kelly came over and out of absolute nowhere she just kicked Darcy right in his leg. It was quite hard and enough force to make his leg buckle. She didn't have shoes on. He fell towards me and that's what kicked off things again. Kelly was screaming at him things like "Adam has done nothing wrong" and Darcy started yelling back at her. I think Sarah Voyce was next to Kelly. Kelly was then restrained but I don't by whom. She was struggling and lashing out with fists flying but nothing more connected with Darcy. She was uncontrollable and I have never seen her like that before.

Darcy then went toward the access way that leads to the back carpark. Andre and I followed him out the back too. Darcy punched one of the wooden walls on his way out and he was pretty angry. He continued raving on like a lunatic down the driveway out towards the road.

Kelly was continuing screaming down the driveway at Darcy, yelling things like he was a piece of shit and he was nothing without her. She was yelling that he needs to move out and the dogs are all in her name so he's all done. She was saying nasty things and was clearly out of control. It was like she was standing up for Adam and I could gather that something must have happened between Adam and Darcy.

Adam was also yelling out that everyone who was involved would be sorry and he'd get them. A lot of members of the public were walking to their cars in that area as the last race had finished. Andre and I were speaking to Darcy down the back telling him he couldn't do this here and it was so unprofessional. He was uncontrollable but we got him as far down the fence of the driveway as we could. Kelly and Adam were coming up behind us still yelling and carrying on.

I was worried that Darcy was going to drive and I got the car keys off him. Adam was threatening everybody. A security guard was in between them. Darcy's dad (Warren Poutama) drove by in the mobile car and we got him to help manage Darcy while Andre continued driving the mobile car. We then got Darcy into our car to remove him from the situation.

With Kelly coming up from behind it was inflaming everything.

The security guard actually thanked us for helping keeping them apart. It was an embarrassing situation for us. Darcy sent us apology messages on Sunday to say sorry for what had happened”.

51] The sixth witness for the RIU was Craig Rendle, the Chairman of the Board of GRNZ. Mr Rendle said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 with his wife and fellow GRNZ Board members including Dave Emmerson Graeme Calverley, Trevor Taylor, Sean Hannam and Greg Kerr and was watching the races on the lower level of the main stand approximately half way between the main doors and the birdcage end of the stand.

52] Mr Rendle said Georgia Cole said that somebody had just thrown a drink but he did not see it happen. He said a short time later he saw Mr Adam Jenkins on the front lawn with another man who he did not recognise. He said Mr Jenkins was slapping his own face, looked agitated and seemed to be propping himself up for a fight and the other man appeared to be sizing up Mr Jenkins. Mr Rendle described it as “handbags at 30 paces”. He then said the other male threw a punch at Mr Jenkins and both ended up wrestling on the ground. He said he saw Mr Roberts and Mr Bruce Jenkins trying to intervene and said that Mr Bruce Jenkins also ended up on the ground as well wrestling with his son. He added that during this time Mr Bruce Jenkins had his glasses knocked off by his son Adam.

53] Mr Rendle said those involved ended up further down the front lawn closer to the outside fence with Mr Roberts still trying to intervene. He said Mr Roberts eventually got hold of Mr Adam Jenkins who was still very agitated and they both made their way across to the birdcage and ended up by the path at the corner of the birdcage. He said he was concerned about that because Mr Cole’s youngest son was sitting on the birdcage fence and thought he might get knocked over because of what was happening. He said other people were also trying to calm everything down including Miss Gommans but at no time did he see Mr Poutama.

54] Mr Rendle then said he saw Mr Kerr going outside to see what was going on and then noticed Miss Gommans running down the path towards the corner of the birdcage. He described her as being agitated and fired up before she went out of his vision.

55] Mr Rendle confirmed couldn’t hear anything that was being said during the incidents. He said it was very disappointing behaviour from licence holders.

56] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Rendle if he said seen Mr Poutama involved in any of what he just described and Mr Rendle said he hadn’t.

57] Miss Gommans and Mr Poutama had no questions of Mr Rendle and Mr Webby had no further questions of him.

58] The seventh witness for the RIU was Graeme Calverley, a Director on the Board of GRNZ. Mr Calverley said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 with his wife and fellow GRNZ Board members including Dave Emmerson, Trevor Taylor and Sean Hannam and was watching the races from inside the main stand on the lower part closest to the birdcage.

59] Mr Calverley said just prior to start of the last race a group of people came up the path from the birdcage. He said he couldn’t hear anything but then saw some scuffling. He said there was a brief break and then he saw Mr Adam Jenkins hit another male making a good connection with his face. Mr Calverley said he didn’t know the other person but he had a white tee shirt on and was a lot slighter than Mr Jenkins. He said the crowd started to get involved and the group took off down towards the racetrack. He said he couldn’t tell who was involved at this stage. He then said as the group came back up towards the grandstand an older man (who he didn’t know at the time but now knows it was Mr Bruce Jenkins) had Mr Adam Jenkins in a head lock and Mr Jenkins was wrestling with his father. Mr Calverley said the pair of them hit the ground as did Miss Gommans who was with the pair. He said he thought Miss Gommans was trying to break the fight up rather than be part of it.

60] Mr Calverley then said he saw Mr Adam Jenkins by the birdcage fence with his father and Mr Roberts. He then saw Miss Gommans came up to the path towards Mr Poutama and saw Miss Gommans, who was holding her shoes, kicking out at Mr Poutama with her bare feet. He said people were trying to restrain Miss Gommans and he couldn’t say if any kicks connected. He said during this incident Mr Adam Jenkins remained down at the birdcage fence. He said Mr Poutama appeared to be by himself when he was confronted by Miss Gommans and afterwards he did not know where either Miss Gommans or Mr Poutama went. Mr Calverley concluded his evidence saying that at no stage could he hear anything that was being said by anybody involved.

61] Mr Jenkins referred Mr Calverley to page 2 of his Evidential Statement where Mr Calverley said he (Mr Jenkins) “copped him a good one on the face……….I don’t know what happened before that but I didn’t see the other guy throw any punches first………..I was watching them the whole time….”. Mr Jenkins asked Mr Calverley if he saw what led to the punch being thrown and he said he didn’t. He then asked if Mr Calverley had seen Mr Poutama involved at any time in any altercations or scuffles and Mr Calverley said he only saw Mr Poutama getting kicked by Miss Gommans. Mr Calverley confirmed that he knew it was he (Mr Jenkins) involved in the incidents as he had seen him talking to Mr Freeman earlier in the evening and had asked Mr Kerr who the person was talking to Mr Freeman.

62] Miss Gommans asked if Mr Calverley could remember what kind of shoes she was holding and he said he couldn’t. He also asked if he was sure it was her and not a friend of hers and he confirmed he was clear it was her. He also confirmed he was clear that it had been her who was kicking out at Mr Poutama.

63] Mr Poutama and Mr Webby had no further questions of Mr Calverley.

64] The eighth and final witness for the RIU was Simon Irving, an RIU Racing Investigator based in the Central Districts. Mr Irving said he was in attendance at the race meeting on 31 March 2017 and at approximately 9.20pm was advised over the radio by Stipendiary Steward, John Muirhead that there was a fight on the front lawn. He said he went down to the grass area with Stipendiary Steward, Darin Balcombe and saw a number of people close to the outside fence and two security guards. He said there were 2 or 3 people on the ground and no other fighting. 2 of the people in the group were Mr Adam Jenkins and his father. He then saw the older Jenkins frog marching his son towards the birdcage being followed by Miss Gommans. He said Mr Adam Jenkins was struggling against his father and wanted to go back to a group of people closer to the outside fence. He said he saw Mr Bruce Jenkins drive his son into the birdcage fence and at this stage he (Mr Irving) intervened and assisted in restraining Mr Adam Jenkins who was still trying to break free. Mr Irving said Mr Roberts was also assisting in restraining Mr Jenkins. He said Miss Gommans was telling Mr Adam Jenkins to calm down and also yelling at, and trying to get, Mr Bruce Jenkins to let go of his son. Mr Irving said that the actions of Miss Gommans were inflaming the situation rather than helping.

65] Mr Irving said Mr Adam Jenkins smelt of alcohol, had glazed eyes and was intoxicated. After he had calmed down he (Mr Irving) told Miss Gommans to go away and she was taken away by a couple of women. Mr Irving said he then told Mr Jenkins he was going to take him out the back as there were a lot of people around. Mr Irving said he and Mr Jenkins started to walk out to the car park with Mr Jenkins slightly in front of him and whilst in the passageway leading to the car park Mr Jenkins moved to his left and slapped a male, who was part of a group standing there, across his head. Mr Irving said that person did not react much to the slap. Mr Irving said he then got Mr Jenkins to the back of the car park and Mr Jenkins was yelling threats back at the group of people in the passageway including saying that he was going to get gang members onto them as he knew where they lived. Mr Irving said by this time people were starting to leave the racecourse and he was being assisted by a security guard. He said he walked Mr Jenkins out of the car park and towards a gate way down the drive to the main road and then returned to the main building where he had a conversation with Mr Kerr and Mr Freeman and got confirmation from them as to the names of the people involved.

66] Mr Irving said he telephoned Miss Gommans the next morning (Saturday 1 April) and asked her if she knew what had happened. Miss Gommans told him that she couldn’t say what actually happened as she was down at the stables at the time. She said when she came up to the front lawn she saw Mr Adam Jenkins on the ground getting his head punched in and she tried to stop everything by holding him down so he didn’t punch anybody else out. She said she wasn’t sure who the male in the white tee shirt was. She said Adam couldn’t remember much of what had happened, had sore ribs but could recall being blindsided by a person he didn’t know. Mr Irving said Miss Gommans then said she had left. Mr Irving said he then asked to speak to Mr Adam Jenkins but was told he was getting ready to go to the races at the time and so he arranged with Miss Gommans that he would talk to Mr Jenkins at the Awapuni racecourse later that day.

67] Mr Webby asked Mr Irving if Miss Gommans had said anything else about the male in the white tee shirt. He said that Miss Gommans had said she didn’t know who he was but he was part of a group that had come to the race meeting with Mr Poutama.

68] Mr Irving said he then reviewed the Trackside footage of the aftermath of the altercation. The footage was then played to the hearing with Mr Irving highlighting the main elements of the incidents and people involved. The footage is entered as exhibit 1. Mr Irving also referred to the still images taken from that footage and they are entered as exhibit 2. Mr Irving pointed out that the images clearly showed that the crowd’s attention was taken away from the race to the fight that was going on.

69] Mr Irving said he spoke with Mr Adam Jenkins and Miss Gommans during the afternoon of 1 April at the races at Awapuni. He said he did not record the discussion with Mr Jenkins but kept notes of what was said. He said Mr Jenkins told him that Mr Poutama had said something smart to him and he told him to pull his head in and the next minute he got blind sided by someone in Mr Poutama’s group but didn’t see who it was. Then another male in a white tee shirt started getting involved and Mr Jenkins shaped up to him. As that was happening Mr Jenkins said another male with a mullet kicked him in the ribs when he was on the ground. Mr Jenkins then said it was broken up by his father and Miss Gommans. Mr Irving said he asked Mr Jenkins who he hit in the passage way whilst being walked out and he said it was the guy with the mullet and that he later met up with that same person in town and had a beer with him and it was all good. Mr Irving said Mr Jenkins also said that he could remember being walked out by a security guard and left the course in a taxi and went into town.

70] Mr Irving then said over the period 3-5 April he spoke to several people who witnessed the events of 31 March at the raceway. He confirmed that after speaking to each of the witnesses he had drafted a statement and sent it to them for them to make any alterations, amendments or additions before being signed off by them. He said where it was clear from his interviews that at the time of the incidents the witnesses did not know a person by name Mr Irving included that information in the draft statement.

71] On 10 April Mr Irving took a series of photographs of the general area where the incidents took place and also of the inside of the grandstand where the witnesses were located and also the passage way leading to the car park. At 12.17pm that day he interviewed Miss Gommans in the presence of her father. A transcript of that interview was made available to all parties on 15 May with a further copy sent on 24 May to the lawyer who at the time was allegedly representing the Respondents. The recording of that interview was played to the hearing and the Committee is satisfied the transcript is an accurate recording of the interview. The transcript is entered as exhibit 3. That interview concluded at 12.40pm and later that afternoon Mr Irving served the charging documents on Miss Gommans.

72] Mr Irving said that soon after the interview with Miss Gommans Christchurch based RIU Investigator Mr P Lamb telephoned Mr Adam Jenkins and arranged to interview him the following morning (11 April). Mr Irving said that Mr Jenkins then became aware that Miss Gommans had been served her charging documents and he rang Mr Lamb back and said he would not agree to being interviewed as his lawyer said he should not talk to the RIU without him being present and he (the lawyer) would not be free for a couple of days. Mr Irving said that the following day he served the charging documents on Mr Adam Jenkins via email.

73] Mr Irving said he conducted a recorded interview with Mr Poutama on 26 April at the Manawatu raceway. A transcript of that interview was made available to all parties on 15 May with a further copy sent on 24 May to the lawyer who at the time was allegedly representing the Respondents. The recording of that interview was played to the hearing and the Committee is satisfied the transcript is an accurate recording of the interview. The transcript is entered as exhibit 4. That interview concluded at 10.48am and later that morning Mr Irving served the charging documents on Mr Poutama.

74] Mr Webby asked Mr Irving if he was aware of any publicity surrounding the events that took place on 31 March at the raceway. He said that during his conversation with Miss Gommans she had made him aware of an on-line article dated 6 April. The article was headed “Investigation follows public scuffle at race meeting” and at Mr Webby’s request is entered as exhibit 5.

75] To questioning from the Committee Mr Irving confirmed he saw no fighting other than Mr Jenkins hitting the guy with the mullet which technically is an assault under the Crimes Act. He also confirmed when he got to where there were people rolling around on the ground, because of the number of people in and around the area, he could not see who was on the ground and the first thing he saw was Mr Bruce Jenkins frog marching his son towards the birdcage fence with Miss Gommans not too far behind them.

76] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Irving if he had commenced his investigation prior to the 6 April online article previously referred to being published and he said he had. He confirmed that when initially speaking with Miss Gommans she had implied it was not a big deal and, after also speaking with him (Mr Adam Jenkins) the next day where he got a “watered down” version of events, Mr Irving still thought it was not necessarily a big deal. Mr Irving then said, however, that on talking to a number of witnesses a fuller more detailed picture had been painted.

77] Mr Jenkins said that it appeared to him that Mr Irving had been selective in deciding who to get witness statements from “and had taken the Board members’ side” and asked why no contact was made with either Mr Craig Roberts or Mr Bruce Jenkins and statements taken from them. Mr Irving replied saying he did not contact Mr Bruce Jenkins as he is not a licence holder under the Rules of Greyhound Racing and has no obligation to talk to the RIU. Mr Jenkins said that his father’s name and that of Mr Robert’s had been regularly mentioned throughout the RIU’s case and he couldn’t understand why they had not been formally spoken to. Mr Irving said he had to draw a line in the sand at some point and felt that the information he had from the witnesses he spoke to was enough. In relation to Mr Roberts, Mr Irving said that after a preliminary discussion with him it was clear any evidence would be related to the restraining he was doing of Mr Jenkins near the birdcage fence and as he (Mr Irving) was also there it was not necessary to have Mr Roberts make a formal statement.

78] Mr Jenkins then referred Mr Irving to Clause 5 of the Seventh Schedule of the Rules of Greyhound Racing and asked why, in terms of natural justice, Mr Poutama had not been given the opportunity on 26 April to defer being interviewed and this was in breach of the Bill of Rights. The Committee pointed out to Mr Jenkins that the Clause headed “Natural Justice” referred to the Judicial Committee and not the RIU. Mr Irving told Mr Jenkins he thought his interview with Mr Poutama was a fair one and at no time had Mr Poutama sought to defer the interview. The Committee also took the opportunity to ensure all Respondents were aware of the difference in the roles and responsibilities of the RIU and the JCA and all said they were.

79] Mr Jenkins asked Mr Irving if he had seen Miss Gommans kick Mr Poutama and he said he hadn’t as “I was concentrating on restraining you”.

80] Mr Jenkins asked when Miss Gommans was charged in relation to the completion of her interview and had it been pre-determined before the interview. Mr Irving said at the end of the interview he contacted Mr Lamb and his manager and a decision was made to charge Miss Gommans and the documents were served approximately 10 minutes later.

81] Mr Jenkins asked why Mr Poutama had been charged. Mr Irving said one witness had given evidence they had “seen Mr Poutama punch you” and added that no other witnesses had seen that happen. Mr Jenkins said that was surprising given Mr Cole, who said he saw Mr Poutama punch him, was with other witnesses at the time the alleged punch was thrown. Mr Irving said that different witnesses saw different things at different times. He added that another reason Mr Poutama was charged was because of his behaviour at the back of the race course when being escorted out as described in his sister-in-law’s statement.

82] Miss Gommans asked if she was with Mr Irving when Mr Jenkins was being walked off the course and he said he didn’t recall her being there. Mr Irving said his focus was on Mr Adam Jenkins and he told a security guard to get him off the course. He confirmed he did not hear anybody yelling out other than Mr Jenkins and that was being directed back to the group in the passage way. Miss Gomman’s said that was in conflict what Mrs Poutama had said when she stated that “Kelly and Adam were coming up behind us still yelling and carrying on”.

83] Mr Poutama asked if he was being charged purely on the basis of the evidential statement of Mrs Poutama and Mr Irving said no. He then asked was it on the basis of the evidence of Mr Cole. Mr Irving said it was based on a number of factors. However, this was not followed up by Mr Poutama.

84] Mr Webby had no questions arising from the questions and said that concluded the evidence of the RIU.

RESPONDENTS CASE
85] Mr Jenkins said he had a number of Affidavits to present and also intended to call himself, Miss Gommans, Mr Poutama and Mr Gommans as witnesses. He asked to present the Affidavits first and also that some specific information relating to the “health’ of Miss Gommans that was going to be raised not be reported in any media coverage. That request was approved and the media representative present was advised that any reference to the health of Miss Gommans was supressed. Because the Evidential Statement of Mrs Poutama was read into the hearing by the Registrar it was agreed the same process would apply to the reading of the Affidavits.

86] The first Affidavit was from Ty-Apiha Licoln who said:- “I was at the races on Friday 31st March 2017 at a harness and greyhound meeting. During the last race of the harness meeting, I saw an altercation between two people. One of the people I knew as Adam as he was introduced to me earlier in the night. He was quite intoxicated but minding his own business when some random guy hit him from behind, knocking him down. I then saw Kelly Gommans rush over to help Adam, she grabbed him and held him. She was very upset and crying and a lady went over and took Kelly away from the situation and took her to the passage between the two stands. We couldn’t see her from the position we were in that being in front of the main stand”

87] The second Affidavit was from Jason Boult who said:- I was at the races on Friday 31st March 2017. During the last race there must have been a ruckus and I saw Adam Jenkins, whom I’d met earlier, lying on the ground. I saw a guy go in and kick him in the side and then run off. I then saw Kelly Gommans who I knew running over to Adam to help him, she was holding him. Kelly was bawling her eyes out and yelling. Some lady went over and took Kelly away. She took her up the passage way between the two stands to another lady who was hugging her and quietening her down. I went back to my mates and that was the last I saw of anyone.

88] The third Affidavit was from Ryan Bradley Parrish who said:- I was at the trots on March 31st with a group of friends. I saw what I thought was an argument between Darcy Poutama whom I sort of knew because he was going out with a mate’s sister, and another guy. I went in and open hand smacked the guy I thought was about to hit Darcy. He fell over and left. I didn’t realise that the two of them were mates and I found out later that they were having a loud discussion about dogs. I met up with Kelly and Adam the guy I open handed later and got the whole story. I am so embarrassed about what I did as it is not in my nature. I apologised to both of them and realised I acted like a fool. We shook hands and spent some time together and parted company in good spirits.

89] The fourth Affidavit was from Phillipa Lammas who said:- I attended the Manawatu Harness Tracing Club’s Twilight race meeting on the 31st March 2017. I was there when the fight in question started, having been next to Adam Jenkins when he was attacked, Kelly Gommans was nowhere to be seen at that time, I then see her appear and start yelling for people to get off Adam Jenkins, when they would not listen she then tried to physically pull them off herself, until she herself was pulled away by another attendee. I then recall her yelling and flailing her arms and legs around trying to get people to leave her alone. At no time did I see Kelly involved in the first incident that started apart from trying to help dissolve it and help her owner, or recall her attacking Darcy Poutama before, during or after the incident. I state that what I have written above is true to the best of my knowledge.

90] The fifth Affidavit was from Mikayla Attwood who said:- I missed the incident on the grass area but found Kelly in a bad way in the passage between the two stands. Someone was holding her from behind and she was getting more and more agitated. I told the person to let her go and Kelly started to relax. After about 5 minutes her breathing was back to normal and her speech was understandable. Kelly said she wanted to leave so I left with her and we headed out of the course. We went over the bridge and one of our mates was there so we hopped in his car and left to town. Kelly was just quietly crying on the way out and at no time did we encounter any problems. About 2-2.5 hours later we found Adam as Kelly hadn’t seen him since the incident as he was escorted off the racecourse and Kelly needed to know he was alright.

91] The sixth Affidavit was from Katrina Frost who said:- On the night 31st March 2017 I attended the Manawatu Harness Racing Clubs Twilight meeting. I was on my way back to the stables and headed to the main grandstand. As I proceeded through the birdcage I heard and saw an altercation near the track fence. I saw Kellie Gommans the only one I recognised holding back a male and trying to prevent him from being set upon. As the conversation had become heated I decided to move Kellie from the situation as I feared for her safety, I thought she might get struck. I went over and grabbed her and bundled her away, she was very distraught and couldn’t talk properly. I took her to the passage between the two stands where a friend of hers took her and comforted her. She was flailing her arms and legs and I was worried. I rang her father John Gommans and told him what was happening his only words were “F*** she is having an episode” and hung up, he then arrived within minutes. I left her with her friend and her dad and that was the last I saw of her as I left the course and went home.

92] The first witness for the Respondents was Mr John Gommans, the father of Miss Kellie Gommans. Mr Gommans said he did not witness any of the incidents and his first involvement was when he got a phone call about Kellie doing something. He then made mention of his daughter’s “health issues” which was one of the reasons he wanted to be with her today to support her. He said he first saw Kellie in the passage way under the grandstand with Sara Voyce. He said he told Kellie to stop crying and leave and go home and went to the Stipes room to talk to Mr Irving. He said he asked Mr Irving where Adam was and was told he had been escorted off the track. Mr Gommans then said he followed his daughter and another friend Mikayla out and they got into a car and left.

93] Mr Gommans said prior to receiving the phone he was not aware of anything “going down” and had he been he would have left the stables area immediately. He said it was a good night, everyone was enjoying themselves and the alcohol was flowing freely and the sponsors, of whom Mr Adam Jenkins was one, could get as much as they liked. He also said he had not heard any definitive statements that might suggest that future similar meetings were in jeopardy because of what had happened.

94] Mr Gommans concluded by saying one or two of the statements (made by the RIU’s witnesses) were untruthful and he was surprised there were fewer security guards on at the end of the evening when compared to the beginning.

95] Miss Gommans and Mr Poutama had no questions of Mr Gommans.

96] Mr Webby asked Mr Gommans what kind of meeting it had been. He said it was a show case meeting and a large number of people, more than for a normal meeting, were present. He said it was a good night until he got the phone call and confirmed that the alcohol was flowing freely and that Mr Jenkins was one of the sponsors of the meeting. Mr Gommans confirmed he knew nothing about what had happened until he got to his daughter. Mr Webby asked if Miss Gommans’ “health issues” made her violent and Mr Gommans said if she was being held against her will it might explain why she reacted as she did and that she would have done so irrespective of who was in front of her at the time. He confirmed, however, that by the time he arrived everything was over. He said it was a shame it all happened, that many people got involved and it was not a good look.

97] Mr Gommans was asked by the Committee how he could reconcile the fact that he had not seen anything happening and that some statements from the RIU’s witnesses were untruthful. He made reference to Mrs Poutama’s statement being in conflict with what Mr Irving had said and therefore it was a false statement. He then referred to Mr Cole’s statement and that he saw Mr Poutama throw something at Mr Jenkins and punch him in the back of the neck when no other witness saw that happen. He said there was some major history between Mr Cole and Mr Poutama but he would leave that to Mr Jenkins to raise.

98] None of the Respondents had any further questions of Mr Gommans.

99] The next witness was Miss Kellie Gommans. Miss Gommans said she was down at the stables and received a phone call from Sarah Voyce and straight away came up to the course and saw it was all happening on the front grass. She said her focus was on Adam to try and help him. She said he was being walked away towards the birdcage area and being held up there. I then remember being told to go away which I did and I can’t remember much more than that. She said she did not like confrontation so going into help was a big thing for her to do and after she realised what had happened her “health issue” started to occur. She said she couldn’t recall who was holding her or why but because she was being restrained she lashed out. She said there were a lot of people on the course and alcohol was freely available (she had seen people coming away from the bar holding 6-8 drinks). Miss Gommans also said she didn’t like people seeing her when she was acting like she was and she hadn’t had a similar “issue” for over 12 months.

100] Miss Gommans said she was upset during her interview with Mr Irving when questioned why a female had to go in and help a male while the male was on the ground. She said she had taken what she considered to be a sexist comment as reflecting on her ability to compete as a greyhound trainer against fellow male trainers. She said the comment was irrelevant because she would have gone into help irrespective of who needed that help.

101] She said after being let go she couldn’t remember much but did remember Mikayla (Attwood) was with her but she was not sure whether Mr Irving was. She also said she couldn’t recall if Mrs Poutama was there or any of the security guards. She said she only became aware that security guards were present when one of them came up to her the following day at the Awapuni races and asked her how the rest of her night was. She said the whole issue has been blown out of all proportion with its emphasis on the involvement of three people from the greyhound industry when other people from outside the industry were also involved.

102] To a question from Mr Poutama Miss Gommans said greyhounds were her life and being around them had a beneficial effect in helping her to manage her “health issue”.

103] To a question from Mr Webby Miss Gommans said that after she left the course she went to a bar in town and tried to find out if Adam was OK and also added that she remembered Paul Freeman being there. She agreed with Mr Webby when he asked if it was fair to say her memory was hazy about things that happened that night. She said she can’t believe she would have kicked Mr Poutama intentionally as it was not in her nature to attack anybody. That was the reason she went in to try and stop the fight. She said she had no memory of any arguments with Mr Poutama on the night and had just told him to give her some space.

104] Mr Webby referred Miss Gommans to her interview with Mr Irving and him saying that several witnesses saw her trying to punch and kick Mr Poutama as if he was a person who had done something wrong and that she replied, “maybe I thought he did”. Miss Gommans said she had felt ambushed by Mr Irving’s questions, was being repeatedly asked the same questions and just had to say something in reply to them. Miss Gommans said couldn’t remember if, as put to her by Mr Webby, she attacked Mr Poutama because his actions had started the whole chain of events.

105] Mr Webby asked Miss Gommans why, if she did not like confrontation, she got straight into it when she got to the grass area in front of the stand. She said the footage showed her not involved but trying to restrain Mr Jenkins. She said the footage could be taken many ways but her focus was on helping Mr Jenkins and getting him out of there. She said Mr Jenkins was looking after himself and trying to hold his own and we felt the need to help him. She said Mr Jenkins was not an aggressive person and she was shocked at him being attacked. She agreed that Adam and his father as well as herself ended up on the ground.

106] Mr Webby referred Miss Gommans to the Trackside images of the events and Miss Gommans agreed the images referred to showed her with her arms around Adam trying to grab onto him. She said she couldn’t remember much of what happened when Adam was being walked across to the birdcage. She said she followed him across and was trying to talk to him but he told her to leave him alone and go away. She said she could not recall Adam’s father having his glasses knocked or if there was any blood on his father or if Adam was being held in a head lock by his father. She said her sole focus was on getting Adam away and everything else was blocked out. Miss Gommans said she had no beef with Darcy that night, he had given her space and not smothered her and she had no reason to kick out at him.

107] Miss Gommans said it was not a good look and the greyhound people were made to look worse than they were. She disagreed with Mr Kerr’s comments that it was all our fault and said the article published on 6 April was not truthful as it only mentioned greyhound people.

108] The next witness was Mr Darcy Poutama. Mr Poutama said he was talking to Adam Jenkins about the future training of some greyhounds. He said he did not hit Mr Jenkins from behind – “100% it didn’t happen”. Mr Poutama said Mr Cole’s statement that he threw a drink at Mr Jenkins was not true and Mr Cole had made it up because he and Mr Cole don’t get on. He referred to two matters that had occurred in the past. {Because of the confidential nature of both matters the Committee will not be including any details. The media present were also instructed to not publish any details of either matter}. Mr Poutama then said he left Mr Jenkins and went to the toilet. When he came back he saw Adam and another male exchanging words, there was a scuffle and he saw Adam fall over on the ground and being kicked. He said he saw people trying to break it up including Kellie restraining Adam. He said he also saw Adam’s father trying to restrain Adam after the fight had finished. He said he was not involved in anything and confirmed Kellie was being restrained when she was kicking out at him. He concluded by saying he did not believe there was any evidence to show why he had been charged.

109] Miss Gommans asked Mr Poutama if she kicked him with force and he said no. He also said he was not with his brother Andre or his wife during the evening. When asked if Amy would lie in her statement he said she would because they don’t like you (Kellie).

110] Mr Webby asked Mr Poutama what his memory was like and he said it wasn’t too good. He referred Mr Poutama to his interview with Mr Irving and specifically to the reference to the scuffle he had with Mr Adam Jenkins. He said it was just heated words about dogs and pups and he didn’t like the fact that Adam was going to keep his pups down south and not send them to Kellie. After several times being asked Mr Poutama said that Mr Jenkins did put his hand out to try and grab him but he pulled back. He said again that he did not throw anything at Mr Jenkins or hit him in the back of the head – that was the guy with the baseball cap on. Therefore, in that regard Mr Poutama said Mr Cole was not mistaken – he had lied.

111] Mr Poutama said when the fight started he got smart and told Adam to get into the other guy. He said it possibly started because the guy that hit Adam had been talking to him (Mr Poutama), had heard what was being said and may have got the wrong impression about things. He said he saw Adam hit by another guy and being kicked on the ground. He said Adam was trying to get up and carry on fighting but was being restrained by his father and Kellie. He said somebody else was trying to restrain the other guy as well. He said Adam ended up near the fence still being restrained and still a little bit fired up.

112] Mr Poutama there were no dramas with Kellie and he’d only had about three beers. He said when Kellie hit him he got a bit heated and his father restrained him and tried to put him in the car. He said Kellie kicked him because she was being restrained and he happened to be in front of her at the time. He did not agree he was kicked as hard as stated by Amy Poutama in her statement. He said his memory is blank after the kick. He said he had no memory of punching the wall in the passageway or of Kellie abusing him or of going home with his mum and dad in their car. He did agree that he must have been playing up for his mum and dad to drive him away from the racecourse.

113] The Committee asked Mr Poutama if there was any part of Mr Cole’s evidence that was not a lie. Mr Poutama replied saying all of Mr Cole’s evidence was a lie. He also said that whilst everything was going on he remained in front of the grandstand close to the main doors.

114] Mr Jenkins again asked Mr Poutama if he had hit him and he replied no.

115] Mr Jenkins was the final witness for the Respondents. He confirmed what Mr Poutama had said in that their initial conversation was about the future placement of pups that he owned. He confirmed that Mr Poutama was not happy with what he heard. Mr Jenkins said it was a disagreement rather than a scuffle as described by Mr Poutama. He said Mr Poutama then walked away and the next thing he remembers is being hit from behind by somebody who must have heard the earlier conversation and got the wrong impression about what was being said. Mr Jenkins said he defended himself, there was a small scuffle, he ended up on the ground and then got kicked in the ribs. He said his father then intervened and picked him up but his father then fell over and they both ended up back on the ground. Mr Jenkins then said he managed to get up and was still being abused by the first guy who had hit him. He said Kellie then arrived and was trying to restrain him but he told her to go away. He said that was when Mr Irving appeared and was trying to restrain him in conjunction with his father. Mr Jenkins said the involvement of his father made things look worse than they were as by the time his father got there it was all over and he was happy to walk away but his father restraining him meant he continued to be agitated. He said Mr Irving then led him away to the birdcage fence.

116] Mr Jenkins said he found it very hard to believe that Mr Cole had seen something different to the other Board Members who were present. He said Mr Cole had blatantly lied and referred to the previous issues between Mr Poutama and Mr Cole that he believed led to Mr Cole saying what he said in his statement.

117] Mr Webby asked Mr Jenkins if he thought Mr Cole was using the events that happened on the night to get back at Mr Poutama in retaliation for what had happened previously between them and he said he thought that was the case. Mr Jenkins said that whilst he may have had a few beers that night his memory is very clear and Mr Poutama did not throw anything over him or assault him.

118] Mr Webby asked why the people who provided Affidavits for the Respondents had not come along to the hearing as witnesses when they all lived in and around Palmerston North. Mr Jenkins said they weren’t able to attend as none could get time off work.

119] Mr Jenkins confirmed he had sponsored the first race of the greyhound meeting but did not agree with Mr Irving’s comment that he was intoxicated. He said he suffered from severe stomach ulcers which meant he had to limit his drinking of alcohol. Mr Webby pointed out to Mr Jenkins that in Ty Apiha Lincoln’s Affidavit he said you were “quite intoxicated” but Mr Jenkins replied he must have assumed he was intoxicated because a fight had occurred. Mr Jenkins commented there were different degrees of intoxication and he was not drunk, was not slurring his words and could remember what had been happening.

120] Mr Webby referred to Mr Poutama’s use of the word “scuffle” when he was talking to Mr Jenkins. Mr Jenkins said it was not a scuffle and more a heated argument. After further questioning from Mr Webby Mr Jenkins agreed he had pushed a hand out towards Mr Poutama as if to “send him away” but it was not a grab.

121] Mr Jenkins said Mr Poutama then walked away and almost immediately he (Mr Jenkins) was then hit from behind by another male. He said he fell to the ground and was then kicked. He said he didn’t throw any punches or kicks but was angry. He said he feared for his own life and feared for his own safety and was trying to protect himself when on the ground. He then got back up and his father then came in trying to restrain him which made things worse. Mr Jenkins said the guy who first hit him was trying to come back for more and was trying to be restrained by the other male who had previously kicked him on the ground. He said he was also telling Kellie to go away. Mr Jenkins said he could not recall being on the ground with both his father and Kellie. He said his father was forcefully restraining him and this continued when he was up against the birdcage fence.

122] Mr Jenkins confirmed that when being led out under the passage way being held by Mr Irving he saw the guy who had kicked him on the ground with a group of people and he hit him with an open hand. He also acknowledged that he did yell out threats to that person including that he would get gang members onto him and that he had picked on the wrong person. Mr Jenkins said that by the time he got to the car park there was nobody else around witnessing what was going on.

123] Mr Webby asked whether it was Mr Jenkins’ position that a lot of people “got the wrong end of the stick that night”. He replied saying none of the RIU’s witnesses said they could hear anything but had said things like there were heated words being said. He said they’ve only seen what they’ve seen and they were all Board Members and obviously against us. He noted that neither Craig Roberts nor his father had been interviewed and there were no neutral witnesses. Mr Jenkins said he was attacked, he did nothing wrong, he did not retaliate and did not need to be restrained despite his father and Kellie choosing to do so.

124] To a question from the Committee Mr Jenkins said when he got to the car park Paul Freeman came over to him and said they would catch up later. The “young Maori fella” came over with a security guard and they all started to walk out. He then said another security guard came out with another male (the one he had hit in the passage way) and when they all got to the first gate he asked the security guards to keep the two males back while he made his way out towards the main road. When referred to the statement of Mrs Poutama that at this time Kellie and Adam were behind Darcy yelling and carrying on, Mr Jenkins said that was not correct.

125] Mr Jenkins said that concluded the Respondent’s case. He offered to provide documents to the Committee relating to Miss Gommans “health issues” but was told that wasn’t necessary.

SUMMING UP BY THE INFORMANT

126] Mr Webby said each Respondent has been charged with engaging in conduct which is detrimental to the image of greyhound racing and the RIU were required to prove that two elements existed for the charges to be proved on the balance of probabilities. The first was that each Respondent engaged in conduct and secondly that the conduct was detrimental to the image of greyhound racing.

127] Mr Webby said the dual code meeting on 31 March was something special and a lot of money had been spent on publicity of the event. He referred to Mr Kerr’s evidence that the events on the night had tarred the industry, that as the head of Greyhound Racing there was zero tolerance for this sort of behaviour, there had been adverse publicity in the newspapers and social media and the Anti Greyhound Protection League had sent the newspaper articles to all MP’s. Mr Kerr had also said he had received several messages from the Racing Board following the incidents and harness racing figures were unimpressed with what had happened as were his own Board Members. He said Mr Kerr said the industry had put a lot of money into the event and because of what had happened there was some doubt as to whether a similar meeting would be held in the future and the incidents had done a reasonable amount of damage to greyhound racing.

128] Mr Webby said those sentiments were backed up by the evidence of Ms Flipp and Mr Cole. He referred to comments made that greyhound racing was the poor cousin of the Thoroughbred and Harness Codes and was looked down upon. He also referred to Ms Flipp’s comments about the night being a family occasion and how the actions of the Respondents had clearly upset many who were present.

129] Mr Webby said it was clear that different witnesses had seen different parts of the incidents and at least one of the Respondent’s witnesses hadn’t seen anything. He said what wasn’t in dispute was that Mr Adam Jenkins was involved in an altercation/fight with an unknown male, and he had to be restrained by his father and Miss Gommans to avoid him carrying on with the fight. He said this was supported by the film and still images provided of the Trackside film of the incidents. Mr Webby said Mr Jenkins had clearly been drinking but accepted there were different levels of intoxication. It was clear, however, Mr Jenkins was keen to carry on with the fight.

130] Mr Webby said there was also no dispute the woman in the black dress highlighted in the Trackside film and still images was Miss Gommans. He said that despite her saying she did not like confrontation she had got involved as soon as she got to where events were unfolding albeit it in a restraining capacity. He said a number of witnesses also make it very clear that Miss Gommans did kick Mr Poutama. Mr Cole was clear about that despite Mr Poutama saying that everything Mr Cole said was a lie. Mr Webby said there were four other witnesses who saw Miss Gommans lashing out and/or kicking Mr Poutama and her having to be restrained. Mrs Poutama also made mention of a “hard kick” to Mr Poutama and Miss Gommans having no shoes on. Mr Webby said this latter point was also commented on by some witnesses. He said a key point here was that the witnesses specifically mentioned seeing a kick and made reference to Miss Gommans flailing around.

131] Mr Webby said the evidence of all those witnesses was consistent, credible and reliable. That included Mr Cole’s evidence which he accepted had been challenged by the Respondents but he emphasised that notwithstanding the Respondent’s views on his evidence much of it was consistent with other witnesses. He said Mr Cole was the person whose evidence is that it was Mr Poutama who initially threw a drink and then hit Mr Jenkins. Mr Jenkins confirmed that heated words were exchanged with Mr Poutama and that a minor scuffle did take place. Mr Webby said Mr Poutama had also said there was a heated exchange which ended up with Mr Jenkins trying to grab him. Mr Webby added there was no suggestion that Mr Poutama later assaulted Mr Jenkins as that was by a different male who was identified by many witnesses from the Trackside images.

132] Mr Webby said Mr Poutama said he had a poor memory which is why he couldn’t remember everything. He also referred to Miss Gommans being unable to recall everything and said it was remarkable she could not recall kicking out at Mr Poutama when five witnesses saw her do so. He said it was clear to the RIU that Mr Poutama was angry for some reason as evidenced by the fact he was bundled into a car by his family and taken off the racecourse.

133] Returning to Mr Jenkins, Mr Webby said that it was his conduct in being involved in the fight and the rest of the altercation that the RIU place most emphasis on. Mr Webby said he attempted to continue with the fight and had to be frog marched away by his own father in a head lock away from the incident. Prior to that he had ended up on the ground with both his father and Miss Gommans. Then there was the abuse and another assault when he was being walked through the passageway and the serious threats being made including the involvement of gang members. Mr Webby said the RIU viewed the issuing of those threats very seriously and noted that Mr Jenkins had agreed he did make the threats. Mr Webby also said the RIU did not accept that when leaving the car park there was nobody around as stated by Mr Jenkins. He said the races had finished and many of the crowd who had stayed until after the last race would have been leaving at the same time as he was.

134] Mr Webby said the RIU were unable to cross examine the Respondents’ witnesses despite all of them being locals and he expected the Committee to give the appropriate weight to those Affidavits. He conceded the same applied to Mrs Poutama’s statement but pointed out the consistency in her evidence with what other witnesses saw. He said the Respondents had said people had lied to the hearing and had agendas but it was the RIU’s position that its’ witnesses are consistent and their evidence should be given greater weight.

135] Mr Webby said it was the RIU’s position that each Respondent had therefore been engaged in conduct – paragraph 126 above. He said Mr Jenkins engaged in a continuing course of conduct involving the fight, being restrained and by his actions under the passage way. In Mr Poutama’s case Mr Webby said it was his actions that kicked this all off by way of his heated words with Mr Jenkins, the scuffle with him and then the throwing something at Mr Jenkins. In relation to Miss Gommans, when she arrived on the front grass she got involved in the thick of things and ended up on the grass with Mr Jenkins and his father whilst trying to help restrain Adam. She was clearly angry and upset with Mr Poutama and later kicked out at him, an incident that was witnessed by several people. He commented that Miss Gommans had said she did not like confrontation but very quickly got involved when she got to where the fight was taking place.

136] In conclusion Mr Webby said it was the position of the RIU that the Committee can be satisfied that on the balance of probabilities each of the Respondents had engaged in conduct which has been detrimental to the image of greyhound racing.

SUMMING UP BY THE RESPONDENTS

137] Mr Jenkins said he was upset by the way the RIU’s investigation had been conducted and said it was very one sided and there was a lot bias in what had been presented as evidence. He said all bar one of the witnesses were members of the Board of GRNZ and they could corroborate their stories which it had been shown were written by the RIU. He also said Mr Cole trained dogs for some of the Board Members.

138] He said all Respondents disagreed with the evidence of Mr Cole and reiterated that Mr Poutama was not involved at the outset. He also said he personally was not at fault as he had been hit from behind by a person he did not see. He said the Trackside images that had been presented did not clarify much or perhaps show the true picture. He said his father and Kellie got involved but all Kellie wanted was to try and protect me and get me away from the situation. He said Kellie lashed out because she doesn’t like being held and whether Darcy was in front at the time was just hearsay. He said Kellie was correct when saying that her “health issues” meant she suffered from memory loss and this impacted on her ability to know what she was doing.

139] In relation to Mr Poutama, Mr Jenkins said he had been very hard done by and he did not know why he had been charged other than because of what Mr Cole had said. He said Mr Poutama had been taken advantage of by the RIU when on the witness stand and made to look a fool answering questions despite him having done nothing wrong. Mr Jenkins was asked by the Chairman if he was saying he was not happy with the how the Committee allowed Mr Poutama to be questioned during the hearing. He replied saying his comments were directed at the RIU and not the Committee.

140] Miss Gommans said all she was trying to do was help out the situation. Mr Poutama had nothing to say.

141] The parties were advised that the Committee would reserve its decision and the hearing was formally closed.

REASONS FOR DECISION

142] The Committee has considered a large amount of information before coming to its decision in relation to each Respondent. There has been approximately 10 hours of oral submissions which has included the playing of original interviews with Miss Gommans and Mr Poutama, as well as hearing from a total of twelve witnesses and the reading of one statement from an RIU witness and six Affidavits from witnesses for the Respondents. In addition, the hearing has been shown film and still images from Trackside coverage of the incident as well as a number of photographs of the Manawatu Raceway grandstand, front lawn and passage way between the two stands.

143] The Committee acknowledges the evidence provided by the witnesses who appeared at the hearing must be given a greater weight than the written submissions from other witnesses that were read out given there has been no opportunity to cross examine those latter witnesses. That doesn’t mean their statements are excluded from consideration and it is confirmed that in coming to the decisions we have, the Committee has given some consideration to the content of the statements and Affidavits that were read out. The Committee accepts not all witnesses saw the same events at the same time and that is why some matters referred to by one witness are not mentioned by another. Different people can and do see the same thing in different ways but that doesn’t mean they are lying about what they see. Similarly, if several witnesses describe the same aspect of an incident in the same way it does not automatically follow that they have colluded but rather that they have the same recollection of that particular event.

144] It has been an unusual case in that one of the three Respondents has also been acting as the representative of the other two. All three Respondents were separately charged and the reason why the hearing has taken two days to complete was the requirement to ensure all Respondents had the same opportunity to question or cross examine all the RIU’s witnesses. Similarly, each Respondent was given the opportunity to state their case which in turn allowed the RIU to cross examine them. Because each Respondent has been separately charged a penalty decision will be issued for each.

DECISION – MISS KELLIE GOMMANS

145] Miss Gommans has never disputed that when she realised what was happening on the grass in front of the main stand she rushed over and got involved. She said that she did it to try and ensure the safety of her owner, Mr Adam Jenkins, and was not trying to get involved in the fight that had been going on. She said she was there simply to try and restrain Mr Jenkins from carrying on the fight with the male who had hit him moments earlier. Several witnesses have confirmed they saw Miss Gommans physically restraining Mr Jenkins or standing very close to him and this is also confirmed from several of the Trackside images shown to the hearing. Whilst there are no images of anybody on the ground Ms Flipp said she saw Miss Gommans come over and try to stop things and then it was “all on” with Adam, Miss Gommans and the man in the baseball cap rolling around on the grass with arms and legs going everywhere and that this lasted between 1 and 2 minutes. Messrs Emmerson, Taylor and Calverley all made specific mention of seeing Miss Gommans rolling on the ground with at least two other people and Mr Irving said when he got to the incident he saw two or three people on the ground. Miss Gommans herself admitted she ended up on the grass which explains why earlier in the hearing Mr Jenkins did not seek to dispute any of the statements relating to Miss Gommans being on the ground.

146] Miss Gommans’ next involvement was when she was walking up to the birdcage fence where Mr Jenkins was being restrained. Mr Irving has said that Miss Gommans was yelling out at Adam Jenkins to calm down and to Bruce Jenkins to let Adam go and this was inflaming the situation rather than helping. Two of the Affidavits produced by the Respondents also referred to Miss Gommans yelling, flailing around and bawling her eyes out.

147] Miss Gommans was then seen by several witnesses to kick out at Mr Poutama hitting him either on the leg or lower waist area. She has said she has no clear recollection of that although she said she did not like being restrained and if she was being held from behind she would automatically lash out and anybody/anything in front of her. It is the Committee’s view that Miss Gommans did kick out at Mr Poutama and make some form of contact with a part of his body. Whilst noting that Miss Gommans says her “health issues” means she can’t control her emotions at times and loses track of what she is doing the fact is she did kick out at Mr Poutama. The Committee is not satisfied that she didn’t realise it was Mr Poutama in front of her and to say, as she did in her initial interview, that it couldn’t have been him because he never said anything to her the following day is not credible. The Committee also believes that for Mr Jenkins to say it is only hearsay that she kicked Mr Poutama is not sustainable against the weight of evidence that shows she actually did.

148] As stated previously, the Committee believes Miss Gommans was aware that Mr Poutama was the person in front of her when she kicked out, and whilst we can speculate that she thought he may have been instrumental in the whole thing kicking off, we have no proof that is what she was thinking. The Committee notes, however, that in his interview with Mr Irving played to the hearing Mr Poutama clearly states he was kicked by Miss Gommans and the only point he chose to debate at this hearing was whether the kick was forceful or not.

149] The final part of Ms Gommans’ involvement in this matter relates to events under the passage way and in the car park. It is accepted that Ms Gommans was very upset and in the company of a couple of her friends and her father was gradually calming down. No RIU witnesses other than Mrs Poutama saw Miss Gommans in the car park and leaving the race course. The Committee makes no comment on Mrs Poutama’s statement that was read out other than to note that the Respondents did not agree with what was said and gave a clear indication that the reason Mrs Poutama said what she said was because of a conflict between her and Miss Gommans. The Committee therefore notes there is no “confirmed evidence” of Miss Gommans’ behaviour in the car park.

150] In conclusion, Miss Gommans’ behaviour from the time she became aware of what was happening on the front grass through to the time she was led away from where Mr Poutama was standing was in the Committee’s view detrimental to the image of greyhound racing and the Committee finds the charge against her as detailed in Information A4192 proved.

DECISION – MR ADAM JENKINS

151] As with Miss Gommans there are several matters that are not in dispute when considering Mr Jenkins’ involvement in all the matters that took place at the race meeting on 31 March. There is also the fact that Mr Jenkins has stated that the statement of Mr Cole and the evidence he gave to the hearing is all lies

152] Ms Flipp said in her evidence that prior to the events unfolding she saw Adam Jenkins talking to his father and could see Adam was getting agitated with his father holding on to him and trying to calm him down. This was not disputed by Mr Jenkins.

153] Also not in dispute is his involvement in a heated exchange with Mr Poutama about the future placement of pups he owns. Under questioning from Mr Webby Mr Poutama reluctantly agreed that as well as the heated conversation, Mr Jenkins made a grab for him but did not hit him. Mr Jenkins also agreed with that comment after hearing Mr Poutama saying it happened. It is not in dispute that Mr Jenkins was hit by an, at the time, unidentified male who had previously been standing with him and Mr Poutama. It is interesting to the Committee that, whilst allegedly not knowing who hit him at the time, Mr Jenkins was able to provide an Affidavit from Ryan Bradley Parrish which included the following:- “I saw what I thought was an argument between Darcy Poutama whom I sort of knew ..............and another guy I went in and open hand smacked the guy I thought was about to hit Darcy. He fell over and left. I didn’t realise that the two of them were mates and I found out later that they were having a loud discussion about dogs. I met up with Kelly and Adam the guy I open handed later and got the whole story”.

154] It is clear from that statement that Mr Poutama knew who had hit Mr Jenkins. It is also not in dispute that a fight then erupted and Mr Jenkins was assaulted by another male while on the ground. The fight then moved on down the lawn towards the fence on the outside of the track. Mr Jenkins then says even though the guy who hit him first wanted to carry on fighting he was trying to move away. The Committee has trouble reconciling that comment with the fact that two people were trying to physically restrain Mr Jenkins from carrying on fighting and such was the force of their efforts that all three fell to the ground and were rolling around in full view of a large group of people who had gathered to watch what was happening. The Committee also notes Mr Rendle said he saw Adam slapping his own face as if he wanted to escalate the situation and then saw him wrestling on the ground with another male. Mr Rendle is also clear that he saw Adam Jenkins and his father rolling around on the ground.

155] It is also not in dispute that Mr Jenkins was led away to the birdcage fence by his father who was having to exercise significant force to keep control of Mr Jenkins. At least one witness stated that during the incident the father at some point had the son in a head lock and Mr Irving stated that Mr Adam Jenkins was being held up against the fence by his father “with some force”. During this time it is also not disputed that Mr Jenkins was yelling out to Miss Gommans to move away which would have added to the general mayhem at the birdcage fence.

156] Mr Jenkins has not denied he assaulted a male in the passage way as he was being led out to the car park. Nor has he denied then making serious threats involving getting gang members to go and sort out the person he had just assaulted. The Committee notes the RIU’s very deliberate comment that they view the making of these threats as a very serious matter. The Committee does so as well.

157] The Committee notes that Mr Jenkins did not call his father or any of those who provided Affidavits on behalf of the Respondents as witnesses to support him, Miss Gommans or Mr Poutama despite the providers of the Affidavits all living in Palmerston North.

158] As with Miss Gommans there is no confirmed evidence of how Mr Jenkins was behaving in the car park. However, the Committee does not agree with Mr Jenkins that the car park was empty and everybody had left the course because at the time of him being in the car park, it was only a few minutes after the last race and the course would not have emptied out in that short space of time. As such, people would have seen him walking out in the company of a security guard albeit if only for a short time until he got to the inner gate on the driveway that leads to the main road. The Committee also notes that Mr Irving said there were people around at that time.

159] In conclusion, Mr Jenkins’ behaviour from the time he was in discussion with Mr Poutama through to the time he entered the car park is in the Committee’s view detrimental to the image of greyhound racing and the Committee finds the charge against him as detailed in Information A4191 proved.

DECISION – MR DARCY POUTAMA

160] Mr Brendan Cole, as part of his evidence, said the first thing he saw was Mr Poutama throw something at Mr Jenkins who at the time had his back to Mr Poutama. Both were positioned in front of and close to the main doors of the grandstand. Mr Cole thought it was a drink or cup and it hit Mr Jenkins in the back of the neck. Mr Cole then said there appeared to be heated words between Mr Jenkins and Mr Poutama before Mr Jenkins walked away. A short while later Mr Jenkins returned and Mr Cole said Mr Poutama attempted to hit Mr Jenkins in the back of the head and it was that which caused the situation to escalate. Both Mr Jenkins and Mr Poutama categorically deny that happened and have gone so far as to say Mr Cole’s statement is all lies and not truthful. The Committee is satisfied that Mr Cole was a credible witness and accepts his evidence in its entirety notwithstanding that there was no film to support his evidence of the throwing of an object by Mr Poutama and the attempt by him (Mr Poutama) to hit Mr Jenkins on the back of the head.

161] The Committee does not accept that Mr Cole’s statement is a series of lies as matters relating to the fight on the front lawn and the kicking of Mr Poutama by Miss Gommans he refers to have been mentioned by several other witnesses. On this point the Committee notes Mr Kerr said both Mr Poutama and Miss Gommans were arguing and people were trying to keep them apart and Mr Poutama under questioning admitted he got heated.

162] The Committee also notes that whilst Mr Jenkins did ask Mr Cole if he had a beef with Mr Poutama, and also if there was any history between them, this matter was not pursued by Mr Jenkins or the other Respondents when they had the opportunity to question Mr Cole and was not raised again until the Respondents were giving their evidence.

163] Mr Poutama has admitted to encouraging Mr Jenkins to get stuck in when he was being assaulted by the “unknown male”. The Committee also notes that during his interview with Mr Irving on 26 April 2017 reference was made to Mr Poutama punching the wall in the passage way on the way out to the car park. This point was not raised by Mr Poutama in his evidence and Committee interprets that as his admitting that it happened. The Committee also notes that Mr Poutama stated that at this point in time he must have been agitated for some reason and that this carried on into the car park as evidenced by the fact he was bundled into a car by his family and taken off the racecourse. That he was agitated is also supported by the evidence of Mr Kerr who said that both Mr Poutama and Miss Gommans were arguing when she was lashing out at him and people were trying to keep them apart. The Committee accepts, however, there is no visual image of Mr Poutama in the car park as he was leaving the racecourse.

164] In conclusion, Mr Poutama’s behaviour in throwing something at Mr Jenkins, his attempt to later hit Mr Jenkins which was the catalyst for the chain of events that followed, his heated behaviour when Miss Gommans kicked him and his behaviour when being led to the car park is in the Committee’s view detrimental to the image of greyhound racing and the Committee finds the charge against him as detailed in Information A4193 proved.

REQUEST FOR SUBMISSIONS ON PENALTY

165] The RIU are requested to submit their written submissions on penalty for each Respondent to the Executive Officer JCA by noon on Friday 14 July 2017. The submissions will then be forwarded to each of the Respondents by email and hard copy. Mr Jenkins, representing each Respondent is required to submit a written submission on penalty for each Respondent no later than noon on Friday 21 July 2017 ie one week later. If the RIU’s submission is received and distributed earlier than Friday 14 July 2017 the deadline for Mr Jenkins to provide his written submission will be brought forward and will be no later than one week from him receiving the RIU submission from the Executive Officer JCA. Confirmation of the date by which Mr Jenkins is to reply will be contained in the email when the RIU’s submission is sent to him.

166] It is the Committee’s preference that the submissions on the penalty from the RIU and from the Respondents each be in a single document. That is, the Committee does not need a separate penalty submission for each Respondent.

167] Should there be an application by the RIU for costs, this is to be included in their submission.

Dated at Wellington this seventh day of July 2017

Paul Williams

Chairman

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