Trainer Tony Carroll has revealed his “massive disappointment” after a fraud trial he was involved in collapsed due to vital evidence being disclosed to the defence very late or not at all.
Dual-purpose trainer Carroll alleged that he had been defrauded by former employee James Hamer.
Hamer, who faced 23 counts of fraud and theft, contested that the cash transactions in question had been directed by Carroll.
However, Judge Cartwright ordered not guilty verdicts be entered in relation to some of the charges and that the remaining counts be stayed. The defence had argued evidence relating to disclosure failings – including material compiled by the BHA – was such that prosecution assurances could no longer be relied upon.
Name Tony Carroll
Based Cropthorne, Worcestershire
First winner 1996
Most winners trained in a year 58 (2015; Flat)
Highest-profile horse Caspian Prince winner (won the 2014 Epsom Dash for Carroll)
Record as a jockey 254 career wins
In a statement, released through the National Trainers Federation, Carroll said: “The collapse of the fraud trial at Hereford Crown Court is a massive disappointment to me and racehorse owners attached to my yard.
“I categorically deny any suggestion that I directed the defendant’s activity. I contacted the British Horseracing Authority at an early stage and have been completely open with them. I hope justice will eventually be done.”
Promising a full review would take place, Robin Mounsey, head of media at the BHA, said: “This investigation was conducted by the West Mercia police force and the BHA employee’s role in the investigation was under their direction.
“The BHA takes issues of disclosure very seriously. We have carried out in-house training for our staff around disclosure practices and have in place a disclosure policy which clarifies how disclosure will work in investigations which are led by the BHA.
“We will be seeking to access the court’s formal written reasons in due course. Meanwhile, the BHA is currently reviewing the circumstances of this case to ascertain the full facts and to see what might be learned from this process.”
The judge said: “The public must have confidence in the trial process, both in its fairness and its efficiency. Defendants should be able to have confidence in the integrity of the trial process.
“In this case the administration of justice has been undermined. Repeated assurances that the disclosure process had been adhered to were found to be seriously wanting.”
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