Racing: Unconditional bail for Fallon and fellow riders

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The Independent Online

Kieren Fallon was released on unconditional bail yesterday after appearing with 10 others at City of London magistrates court in connection with conspiracy to defraud charges. The six-times champion jockey, who protests his innocence, spoke only to give his name, age and address as the case was sent on to Southwark Crown Court at a date yet to be set.

Fallon, has issued High Court proceedings against the Horseracing Regulatory Authority over its banning him from the saddle in Britain until the conclusion of criminal proceedings and the first step on that road will be a directions hearing. "No date has been set for this interim stage," said Fallon's public-relations consultant, Piers Pottinger. "It will not be until next week." Fallon, licensed in Ireland, is free to ride there and elsewhere.

The 10 others in court included jockeys Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, who have been similarly banned in Britain but are receiving financial compensation from the authorities; trainer Alan Berry, who has retained his licence; and blacksmith Steve O'Sullivan.

Fallon, Lynch and Williams are charged along with Miles Rodgers (warned off two years ago for laying bets on his own horses), Shaun Lynch and Philip Sherkle with conspiracy to defraud Betfair customers between 1 December, 2002 and 9 September, 2004, with a series of races under scrutiny. Berry and O'Sullivan are charged with conspiracy to defraud between 1 May, 2003 and 30 June, 2003, specifically over the running of the filly Hillside Girl.

Rodgers is also charged with one offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act, as are Joanne Richardson, Darren Armitage and Brian Pilkington. Like Fallon, all the defendants were released on unconditional bail.