Racing: SP reporter will not face police charges

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The Independent Online
NEAL WILKINS, the Press Association's starting-price reporter who was arrested last July by the Metropolitan Police and was due to answer bail at a London police station today, will not face charges. A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm there will be no further action by police in connection with this matter."

Wilkins' solicitors issued a statement on his behalf, saying: "The Metropolitan Police have confirmed today that Mr Wilkins is no longer under suspicion of any criminal activity in relation to his role as a starting-price reporter.

"The allegations against Mr Wilkins were exceedingly serious. He was arrested on suspicion of returning false starting prices at horse-race meetings.

"He has been a starting-price reporter for nearly 26 years and the allegations went to the very heart of his professional standing within the racing industry.

"Mr Wilkins has consistently and vociferously stated his innocence. Civil proceedings will be instituted against those responsible for besmirching Mr Wilkins' good name."

A spokesman for the Press Association said: "Mr Wilkins is currently suspended pending an internal disciplinary hearing on a date in February to be agreed. This situation is not affected by the police decision."