Result of a Disciplinary Panel Hearing (Timothy Brennan)
published on 20 July 2018
20th July 2018
1. On 16 July and 17 July 2018 the Independent Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) sat to consider the issues as to whether Timothy Brennan between 24 January 2016 and 20 February 2016 acted in breach of Rule (A)41.2 and/or (A)41.1 in that he conspired with Michael Brennan to commit and did commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to racing, and/or during the above period he enabled and/or assisted Michael Brennan to cheat at gambling in relation to the 2016 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle.
2. In summary the BHA case was that Timothy Brennan provided his brother Michael Brennan with inside information concerning FAUGHEEN (IRE) and its chances of running in the 2016 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle. This was confidential information known by Timothy Brennan through his role as a veterinary surgeon and was information over which he had a degree of control. Further Timothy Brennan knew or suspected that Michael Brennan would use that information to profit from placing lay bets on FAUGHEEN (IRE).
3. The two fundamental issues for the Panel to decide were:
i) Whether or not Timothy Brennan was a person subject to the Rules of Racing
ii) In any event, were the charges proved against him on the balance of probabilities by the BHA.
4. Having read extensive bundles of documents, heard evidence from a number of witnesses, including Timothy Brennan, and heard legal submissions, the Panel have concluded in summary as follows:-
i) That Timothy Brennan at the material time in all the circumstances placed before the Panel was not, as a self-employed veterinary surgeon, subject under Rule (A)2 to the Rules of Racing. So far as is known, this issue has not been canvassed before, and on balance the Panel preferred the submissions made on behalf of Timothy Brennan to those made on behalf of the BHA.
Nevertheless, it was necessary for a number of reasons (not least the fact that any person, not only those subject to the Rules, can in appropriate circumstances be excluded from licensed premises under Rule (A)64) to consider and come to conclusions on the factual issues;
ii) The Panel having considered all the evidence before it concluded that it has not been proved to the appropriate standard that Timothy Brennan was the source of any confidential information to his brother. The Panel concluded that there were, on the evidence, a number of other realistic possibilities for the source of any such information. The Panel considered that Timothy Brennan had cooperated throughout the investigation. The Panel had the advantage of seeing and hearing Timothy Brennan give evidence and be cross examined for the best part of ½ a day and found him to be a credible witness who did not seek to avoid any of the matters put to him.
5. Notwithstanding their findings the Panel consider that the BHA on the information available at the time were acting reasonably in instigating an enquiry in respect of Timothy Brennan.
6. The Panel wish to make it clear that this summary is provided so that the parties (and especially Timothy Brennan) and the media, should know their decision as soon as practicable. It is not intended to be more than a brief summary and full detailed written reasons will follow.