Disgraced trainer Tom Noble walks free from court

A DISGRACED former greyhound trainer has walked free from jail after being handed down a suspended sentence for his role in the live baiting scandal which shook the greyhound racing fraternity to its core.

Tom Noble was at the centre of the controversy aired on the ABC’s Four Corners program titled Making A Killing in February 2015, having owned and operated the training track where several leading identities were caught on secret surveillance footage using live animals tied to a lure to entice their greyhounds to chase, catch and kill.

Appearing at Ipswich District Court on Tuesday facing 15 counts of animal cruelty, Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren sentenced Noble to three years in prison with a five-year suspension.

Factors in the sentence were said to be Noble’s age, health and his role as the sole and primary career for his sick wife, with Judge Horneman-Wren ruling that he did not believe Noble should spend time behind bards, despite the overwhelming evidence stacked against him.

“In my view – taking all the matters to which I have referred into account – the appropriate sentence is one of three years’ imprisonment. However, for the reasons to which I have referred, I am not of the view that the purposes of sentencing require an actual period of incarceration,” Horneman-Wren ruled.

Noble told media prior to the sentencing that he believed he would spend some time incarcerated for the charges, however upon walking free he offered no further comment.

Past Discussion

  1. lone widow that is it in a nutshell lonewidow.

    one cannot and will not support those who have run the gauntlet for years. we are not stupid by any means,and some refused to change with the laws.

    why couldn’t they just INVENT new lure types,anything that would have benefited the entire industry as a whole. I have read some scathing comments on what happened on video in QLD,and it was unbelievable viewing.even hard nosed farmers who have seen as bad and worse, reeled back. one said to me the bastards must have a mental unbalance,as the comments and jocular slangings were just not normal for human beings.

    one part feels a little sorry for him,but one cannot forgive those videod and the manner they treated animals. I have argued for years it is a gene built in and those dogs will chase a shadow that is motionless. why the need to do that?

    I maybe wrong,but I cannot see any gain for a dog by doing that. I have not seen any reports supporting it,so why do it?

    best move them out and trust the new era to control things better now than ever.

  2. Tom has already paid a big price for his actions. It seems like a fair and compassionate decision by the Judge. Aside from the mitigating circumstances noted above he also plead guilty right from the beginning which is always a big factor in sentencing. If politicians taking very large sums of money from property developers are deemed to have suffered enough from public vilification and abuse then Tom Noble certainly has as well.  Whilst I do not approve of his actions I must be honest I am glad that an elderly man from a generation with a very different set of values was not made a scape goat for the animal welfare cause. I am also glad for his wife as well.

  3. Deborah555 and there again is a well formed comment based around one generation having to reform into a new generation.

    so easy to knock older generations without thinking they have lived that lifestyle nearly there entire life. same as I struggle with todays life style and gap between the gens.

    it is never understood by groups of gens why we do and say and act in certain ways,without understanding that is decades of grooming to live that lifestyle. and when the new gen meets their new gen in 20 years,it will be different again,and watch the responses our gen today gets then….confusing,not really. it is life adapting to change, but the older we get,the further behind we fall.

  4. dogem53 lone widow  Nothing further would have been achieved by sending an elderly man to prison leaving his wife without care except satisfy the “blood lust” of the activists and I am pretty sure their lust for power is insatiable. It would be a sad day in Australia if any Judge makes decisions based on the screaming fanatics ( of any persuasion  and that includes anything even I feel passionate about) outside their Court. This decision was even deemed fair by one of the RSPCA reps. She admitted she was unhappy but still conceded the Judge had been fair.  Fair and compassionate and decent I thought.

    To suggest Tom Noble has not been punished is ridiculous one only has to see the anguish on his face to know he has.

  5. Deborah555 dogem53 lone widow true deb.

    I hope they just retire into oblivion and enjoy what life is left for them.

    as the momentous parliamentarian SAM DASTRYARDI recently said.i quote….”I MADE A MISTAKE,AND I AM PAYING FOR IT”

    he didn’t lose his social licence either. he will be back on the front bench in a year or so.

  6. Deborah555 dogem53 lone widow While I agree to some extent that nothing further is served by giving an old man in his circumstances a harsh sentence, it’s not like he didn’t know that what he was doing was illegal and in that sense what generation he comes from is irrelevant.  I’m not interested in punishing him out of some sense of revenge, but I am interested in seeing animal cruelty cases receive deserving sentences, because that sends a message to would be abusers that society takes these crimes seriously.  Unfortunately I have never seen a sentence for animal cruelty in this country that was anything other than laughable.

    I think you’re contradicting yourself on one point though Debora.  On the one hand you say that the judge shouldn’t cave into activists baying for blood, on the other hand (if I read you correctly) you suggest the social backlash he’s suffered should be a mitigating circumstance in his sentencing.  Social backlash should not be an influence in the sentencing in either direction, either to strengthen it or weaken it.  The law should be designed to reflect the standards of society and thus the sentencing should be based on the facts of the crime.  I’m not saying that I don’t agree that personal circumstances should be taken into account, but that should be personal circumstances that led to the crime being committed, and personal circumstances that affect whether the sentence will do more harm than intended (i.e. if the accused has dependents, is old, etc, etc.).  What it shouldn’t include is any negative response the accused receives from the public after the crime is committed.

    I tend to think this is probably a reasonably fair sentence, without knowing that much about it, but I think there are other trainers that have received inadequate sentences over this scandal.

  7. Hugh_ Deborah555 dogem53 lone widow  Yes you have read me wrong I was suggesting that all the politicians who ICAC found evidence of corruption should now face the courts but only one person faced the court a poor person. A number of politicians were let off because Baird claimed “they had suffered enough”. If those with powerful friends are deemed to have suffered enough then that should apply to everyone or it applies to no-one, you cannot have it both ways. Given it was used for the rich and powerful to even avoid court it should apply to a dog trainer who has also suffered abuse, death threats etc.

  8. Hugh_ dogem53 lone widow  the poor person (earning 30,000 dollars a year was a witnesses who they charged with lying to ICAC- he was subsequently found not guilty in the criminal courts  but destroyed by the legal fees. The politicians also involved in this enquiry were let off when legislation was quickly changed by the NSW government and Baird announced “they had suffered enough” Lets have one rule for everyone.

  9. Ok sure, well we agree on that. Class shouldn’t influence punishment for crime. And while I’m not familiar with the specifics of the situation you describe, it sounds like many other situations where people with power and money look out for each other. The “they’ve suffered enough” line is bullshit.