Penalties and Disciplinary Panel's reasons for penalties regarding Darren Egan and Philip Langford

Press Release

The following lays out the Disciplinary Panel’s penalties regarding their findings from a hearing involving former licensed apprentice jockey Darren Egan and non-registered person Philip Langford. The hearing took place on 23 November and the result was published on the same day and can be found here. The Disciplinary Panel’s reasons for their decision were later published, here.

Egan and Langford – Penalties

1. The Panel invited written submissions from the parties about the approach to penalties in this matter, in the light of the findings of breach of the Rules of Racing announced after the hearing on 23 November 2015, for which further reasons were provided on 26 January 2016.

2. A written submission was received from the BHA on 28 January, but nothing was forthcoming from Egan. Mr Langford sent a submission on 4 February 2016. The Panel therefore proceeded to determine the length of the disqualification appropriate for Egan's case, and the length of the exclusion appropriate in the case of Mr Langford.

3. The starting point for both their cases was that this was a conspiracy which struck at the heart of the sport, which both took considerable steps to conceal, which made substantial corrupt profits, and which furthermore involved on two occasions stopping rides by Egan to protect the success of Mr Langford's lay betting. It was a conspiracy which only came to a practical end (i.e. in its effect upon races) when Betfair recognised Mr Langford's unusual betting patterns.

4. The Guide to Procedures and Penalties indicates, when considering an appropriate penalty for a breach of Rule (A)41 which outlaws conspiracies and corrupt practices, that the Panel should have regard to the penalties suggested for the Rules which the conspiracy was calculated to breach. In this case, the prime target of the conspiracy was the actual or potential breach of the non-trier Rule (B)58.1. For that Rule, the Guide indicates an entry point penalty of an 8 year disqualification in a single case where a jockey acts in breach, either for reward or knowing that his horse has been laid to lose. In the present case, the Panel has found that Egan did this twice, and that he was doing it for reward and of course in the full knowledge that Mr Langford was laying the horse to lose on the basis of information he provided.

5. Though Egan has not chosen to write to identify any mitigating factors, the Panel did consider what he said in his e-mail dated 23 November 2015 in particular to see whether this should influence the outcome. It can of course be said on Egan's behalf that he was relatively young, that he was still an apprentice, and that the corruption was initiated and pushed forward by Mr Langford. But Egan was a willing participant. In his e-mail, he explains that he knew what he was doing was wrong but that "I needed the money desperately". The Panel was unable to see any reason for mitigation in that or in anything else of which the Panel was aware.

6. It was therefore decided to impose a disqualification upon Egan of 12 years, to run from 23 November 2015 until 22 November 2027 inclusive. That penalty is imposed both for the breaches of Rules (A)41 and (B)58.1, both obviously to run concurrently. No separate penalty is imposed in relation to the breach of Rule (A)36, as that conduct has been considered and penalised by the disqualifications just referred to.

7. For Mr Langford, the Panel considered the contents of his letter dated for February. It contained no identification of mitigating factors. It consisted entirely of his arguments against the decision reached by the Panel that he was in breach of the Rules as alleged. He was the instigator of the conspiracy. As he is not subject of the Rules of Racing, the only penalty available to the Panel is one of exclusion. Given the circumstances related in the Panel's decision, it was decided that he should be excluded indefinitely, and that no application by him for a removal of the exclusion should be entertained for 15 years.

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