Posted by Andrew Chalk, Partner
Hughie Morrison enquiry result
The Disciplinary Panel today (22 December 2017) announced its decision in the case of Hughie Morrison who was charged with, and admitted, a breach of rule (G)2.1 of the Rules of Racing in respect of the finding of the prohibited …
The case concerned the sanction (if any) that should be imposed.
The BHA sought the imposition of a mandatory penalty and referred to the guidance given in the Guide to Procedures and Penalties in which the recommended entry level of penalty is disqualification of the trainer for a period of 2 years, with a range of 1-10 years.
Mr Morrison argued that he had not administered the prohibited substance, nor had any of his staff or service providers or anyone else under his control – meaning that it must have been administered by a third party beyond his control.
Mr Morrison was represented by Andrew Chalk of Royds Withy King Solicitors, who briefed Graeme McPherson QC. The BHA were represented by Philip Evans QC.
The Disciplinary Panel accepted that Mr Morrison was not involved in the administration of the prohibited substance and imposed an entry level fine of £1,000.
Following the announcement of the decision Hughie Morrison said: “I am delighted that the Disciplinary Panel has concluded that I was not involved in any way with the administration of this steroid. I cannot overstate the stress that has been caused by this long running case both for me, my wife, all my staff and connections and the relief now felt having been rightly and so comprehensively exonerated.
“I would like to thank the Panel for its careful consideration of my case, my wife and family who have had to endure what has been a terrible ordeal, my owners who have been incredibly supportive and my senior staff (especially Jane my secretary and Barbara my head girl) and vet Jamie O’Gorman for their unswerving support throughout the last 11 months.
“I would also like to thank my legal team Andrew Chalk and Charlotte Ebbutt of Royds Withy King and Graeme McPherson QC without whom I fear that all would have been lost many months ago.
The culprit who injected the filly is still out there so everyone needs to be on their guard.”
Andrew Chalk of Royds Withy King Solicitors said:
“We are a little disappointed that the Disciplinary Panel’s interpretation of the Rules means that a penalty had to be imposed, but the most important thing is that the Panel has concluded that the prohibited substance was not administered by Mr Morrison or anyone under his control. From an early stage the weight of the evidence pointed towards that conclusion but it is always a relief when the correct decision is made in a case where the career of a highly respected trainer with an impeccable record is on the line, and when any disqualification would have a devastating impact on those working in the yard and the local community.
“The Panel have concluded that no fault lies at Mr Morrison’s door, and he can hold his head high. Let’s now hope that the real culprit can be found.”
For further information, please contact Anna Arakcheeva at Royds Withy King on:
01225 730 126 Email us
Keeping you informed about News news, events and opinion.