Following an Inquiry into the circumstances relating to the greyhounds which were kennelled at Mr. Leigh Mitchell’s kennels, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.
During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from Mr. Leigh Mitchell (Trainer), Ms. Delaine Vigor (Trainer), Mr. Jason Sharp (Trainer), Mr. Mick Gibbons (Trainer), Mr. Ron Fisher (Trainer) and Ms. Anita Courts (Trainer), Mr. Ken Mitchell (Trainer), Mr. Peter Chitty (Steward), Mr. Glenn Fish (Chief Steward) and Ms. Kim Meredith (Steward).
After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Mitchell with a breach of GAR106 (1) (b) in that on or between 6 March 2014 and 2 April 2014, as a registered person he did fail to provide proper exercise to greyhounds which were kennelled at Mr. Mitchell’s kennels, those greyhounds being in his care and custody.
Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR106 (1) (b) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 8 July 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.
Mr. Leigh Mitchell represented himself.
Mr. Ron Matthews (GRV Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.
Mr. Leigh Mitchell pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. Leigh Mitchell was guilty of failing to provide proper exercise to greyhounds which were in his care and custody. He was suspended for one month, wholly suspended for nine months pending no further breaches of GAR106 during this period, effective from 8 July 2014.
In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:
(a) Mr. Mitchell’s not guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the offence;
(c) The need to maintain the animal welfare integrity of greyhound racing;
(d) Mr Mitchell’s health issues during the relevant charge period;
(e) Mr. Mitchell’s character references;
(f) Significant improvements have been made by Mr. Mitchell to his kennels and his care of his greyhounds in recent times.