Berry charges dropped because of Fallon trial

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that it has dropped race-fixing charges against the trainer Alan Berry in the wake of the collapse of the Kieren Fallon trial. Berry, who was charged back in December 2004 with defrauding users of the Betfair betting exchange, was to stand trial at the Old Bailey next week.

Berry, 44, who is based at Cockerham, Lancashire, and the blacksmith Steve O'Sullivan, 36, had denied trying to cheat by putting the filly Hillside Girl in a race at Carlisle in June 2003 knowing she was lame and laying bets on her to lose.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said: "Although the trials concerned different defendants and a different horse race, there were a number of elements common to both, as they emerged from the same investigation. It is important that the CPS keeps cases under review, particularly where there has been an unsuccessful trial on a linked matter.

"After careful review, it has been concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction for either Mr Berry or Mr O'Sullivan."

The collapse of the trial of Fallon and five others last month generated strong criticism of the City of London Police who had conducted that investigation and the case against Berry and O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan's solicitor, Richard Brooks, said: "The CPS says it has concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction for Mr Berry or Mr O'Sullivan. I disagree. There was never a realistic prospect of a conviction.

"The collapse of the Kieren Fallon case did not affect the evidence in this case. It simply affected the confidence of the CPS and brought the realisation that things are not necessarily what they seem.

"It was shocking that my client was arrested in December 2004. It has been over three years since the arrest, and four and a half years since the race in question. Nothing the police produced for the CPS to consider was capable of proving the case against the two men and it beggars belief that it has taken this long to release them."

Punters wishing to concentrate on events on the track rather than the court circuit can start to mull over entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup which were announced yesterday. My Way De Solzen and Beef Or Salmon are notable absentees from the list of 42 entries headed by the Paul Nicholls-trained Kauto Star and Denman for the Totesport-sponsored race on 14 March. The champion trainer could also run Star De Mohaison, Gungadu, Turko and Neptune Collonges.

Nicholls's West Country rival David Pipe has six possibles, including Our Vic and Celestial Gold. The latter makes his return to action in a novices' hurdle at Hereford today after an injury-enforced absence of 644 days. Kicking King, the 2005 winner, who is to make his comeback this month, is one of 11 Irish entries.

At Kempton yesterday a 107-1 treble advertised Kirsty Milczarek as the next potential top-level female rider. The 23-year-old has hit a fantastic run of form with 10 winners in the last fortnight and her first hat-trick inches her closer to reducing her claim to 3lb.

Just to prove the point that Milczarek is not the only female booting home winners, Hayley Turner won the finale at Lingfield, while Nina Carberry made a rare foray across the Irish Sea to pick up the opener at Musselburgh. That track also saw patience rewarded when the Kinross trainer Jim Barclay ended a near five-year winnerless spell when The Weaver took the selling hurdle. "I have only four in training at the moment," Barclay said, "and I only train for people I like, but we can do the job with the right horses."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'