Old Bailey told Rodgers denied paying money to jockeys for tips

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The Independent Online

Miles Rodgers, the professional gambler accused of orchestrating a race-fixing conspiracy, had never rewarded a jockey for tips or information, the court heard yesterday. "They make a lot of money these jockeys," he told police. "They don't need my money."

Rodgers is one of six men accused of conspiracy to defraud customers of the online betting exchange, Betfair. The others include three jockeys: Kieren Fallon, Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams. Rodgers is also charged with concealing the proceeds of crime. All the defendants deny the charges against them.

In a day devoted to recital of police interview transcripts, the jury heard how Rodgers was asked if he had a favourite jockey. "I'm extremely mercenary," he replied. "I don't support a football team and I don't support a rugby team. I support the Bank of England, as it were." Asked whether he knew Fallon, the former champion jockey, he told a detective: "I don't know him at all. I know him as well as I know you. I did not have any relationship with him at all." He acknowledged knowing Lynch and, to a lesser degree, Williams. "A nice lad," Rodgers said. "But a bit boring." Rodgers admitted laying three horses ridden by Lynch as he thought the rider would be worse for wear after a night out.

In quizzing him about various bank accounts, the police showed Rodgers accounts in the name of his partner. Rodgers called her a "sneaky little beggar" for "stashing" cash away.

Stronger words emerged in an interview with the defendant Philip Sherkle, who described Rodgers as "a twat". Sherkle told police he had become friendly with Fallon by working in the bar of a mutual friend. He would ring Fallon, but would be surprised if the jockey had his number. The case resumes on Monday.