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Canterbury R 21 March 2020 - R 1 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 30 March 2020

Rules:
340
Committee:
SChing (chair)
DAnderson
Name(s):
Ms K Williams - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Informant
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
12812
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Misconduct
Evidence:

Prior to the running of Race 1, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Davidson, against Licensed Class A Jockey, Ms K Williams, alleging a breach of Rule 340 in that Ms Williams misconducted herself when abusing race day officials on entering the course.

Ms Williams had indicated on the Information that this breach of the Rules was admitted, and she confirmed this at the hearing. Ms Williams also agreed that she understood the charge and the Rule it was brought under.

Rule 340 provides as follows:

A Licensed Person, Owner, lessee, Racing Manager, Official or other person bound by these Rules must not misconduct himself in any matter relating to the conduct of Races or racing.

Mr Davidson gave evidence to the effect that Mr T Mills, CEO of the Canterbury Jockey Club, approached the Steward advising that he and a female staff member had been abused at the entrance gate by a jockey who had been refused entry to the course with her vehicle. Mr Davidson stated that Ms Williams had used some expletives when not allowed to bring her vehicle into the course. He explained that due to the Covid19 restrictions, all vehicles were banned from entering the course and all persons attending the meeting were being checked that they were essential to the race meeting before being allowed on course.

Mr Davidson stated that he interviewed the female staff member and she reported that the language was, in her opinion, as bad as she had experienced in a while.

Mr Davidson stated that when he interviewed Ms Williams, she freely admitted having used very colourful language but stated that she had not directed it at Mr Mills and his assistant directly, only the restrictions that were put in place.

Ms Williams stated that the abusive language was in no way directed at the female staff member as she was polite to her and she was polite back. She said that it was only when Mr Mills spoke to her, that was when she got annoyed. She explained that she was only wanting to bring her car into the course to unload gear due to the amount of gear she had. Ms Williams said that due to the weights increase in regard to the Covid19 situation, she had about 10kgs of saddles, 5kgs lead to carry, plus her bag and accessories. Her intention was to bring the car in and unload her gear before returning the car to the carpark. Ms Williams reiterated that that abuse was not directed at Mr Mills or his staff member, only the restriction in not being allowed to enter the course with her car.

Decision:

Ms Williams having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Davidson stated that we are under difficult times with many restrictions in place. He said that everyone was made aware that no vehicles were going to be permitted on course. Mr Davidson submitted that this offending can be dealt with by way of a monetary penalty. He submitted that fines in the past with similar circumstances had been dealt with by ways of fines ranging from $200 to $1000.

Mr Davidson stated that the Stewards assessed this breach as mid-range and submitted that after taking Ms Williams' frank admission of the breach and her clear record over the previous 12 months into consideration, a fine in the vicinity of $500 be considered as penalty.

Ms Williams elected to make no submissions on penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide does not provide a starting point for a breach of this rule but refers to penalty being set as fact dependent.

Ms Williams has frankly admitted a breach of this rule, the misconduct rule, by abusing race day officials at the entrance to the course when they were working under strict conditions set out under the Covid19 level at the time. She has admitted using abusive and foul language but stated that it was not personally directed at either official, only the situation she found herself in.

In any event, that does not excuse her for her behaviour, especially in her capacity as a senior experienced licence holder, and for that she must be held accountable.

We have researched previous penalties of this rule with similar circumstances, which to some degree, have been of assistance.

Taking all factors into consideration, including Ms Williams' good record and frank admission, we have determined that an appropriate penalty in this case is a fine and the fine we impose in this case is one of $600.

Penalty:

Ms Williams was fined the sum of $600.

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