Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have concluded an inquiry into the use by trainer Ruth King of a warned off person to assist in the training of greyhounds pursuant to her care.
GRNSW became aware of the alleged breach of the rules after receiving a surveillance report on Ms King from its investigator on 23 April 2014, which exposed the alleged breach of the rules.
Ms King was represented at the inquiry by Lenz Legal. The inquiry was opened on Friday 16 May 2014 and was adjourned to 24 July 2014 to allow examination of photographs, footage and exhibits tendered.
After representations from counsel, Ms King pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 101 (2) in that on the morning of 23 April 2014 she had permitted Ray King, an unlicensed person who was warned off all racetracks in 2003, to assist in the training of greyhounds in her care.
Ms King was subsequently disqualified for a period of six months, to expire at midnight on 22 October 2014. This period is inclusive of the period already spent as Ms King was suspended from 23 April 2014 under the provisions of GAR 92 (5).
In considering penalty, stewards took into account Ms King’s guilty plea, her cooperation with the inquiry, her good record in relation to serious offences over a period of more than 30 years of registration, her work in a voluntary capacity at race clubs and the fact the breach did not occur at a public race track or trial track.
Notwithstanding these factors, stewards regard the breach as a serious offence which forms an attack on the regulation of greyhound racing. It was the use of a person who had been warned off for offences of the highest order during a tumultuous period for the industry. Ms King had also previously been cautioned over the use of Mr King to assist in the training of greyhounds in 2005.
Ms King did not appeal the decision.
GRNSW refused an application from Ray King for a attendant’s licence back in 2010. It was determined at this time that Ray’s lifelong ban would remain in tact and nothing has changed.
What Ruth King has done is obviously against the rules of greyhound racing in NSW, but does the penalty suit the crime? Six months seems like a lengthy outing for having a banned person walk a dog in comparison to some sentences for positive swabs, which is a far more serious breach.