Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards today finally announced that, after a mammoth five month interlude between announcing the inquiry and coming to a finding; Mark Bell has no case to answer in regards to a catching pen incident alleged to have occurred in June 2010.
GRNSW Stewards concluded their inquiries into a report received from GBOTA employee Mr Richard Abarcherli alleging the use of a live animal in the catching pen of the Wentworth Park greyhound track after the conduct of the trials on the evening of Tuesday 8 June this year.
Evidence was taken from Mr Abarcherli, fellow GBOTA employees Emil Sokolov and Charles Borg, trainers Mr Mark Bell, Mr Anthony White, Mr Sid Swain and Mr Michael Hooper, whilst Mr Bell was permitted to be represented by Mr Glen Walters. Written evidence was entered from Mr Abarcherli, Mr Bell and Mr Hooper, as well as from the GBOTA.
Mr Abarcherli alleged the use by Mr Bell of a rabbit released from a box as a lure for two greyhounds handled by Mr Bell and Mr White at the conclusion of a trial.
Mr Bell argued that the rabbit used was procured from a person off the track and was deceased upon purchase, tethered and placed in the box as a normal educational practice for the greyhounds.
Having regard to the serious nature of the alleged offence Stewards felt that the standard of evidence did not reach the level whereby a charge under the Rules of Greyhound Racing could be sustained. Mr Bell was ruled to have no charge to answer.
He was reminded however to acquaint himself with the rules regarding lures used at various tracks as it was alleged that he had been in breach of the recommendations for lure presentation at Wentworth Park at that time.
No action was taken against any other party.