Scotney denies saying he would 'get Fallon'

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The Independent Online

The man hired to protect the integrity of British horseracing yesterday denied suggestions that he has a vendetta against Kieren Fallon. Giving evidence to the race-fixing trial at the Old Bailey, Paul Scotney rejected a claim that he had been overheard drunkenly vowing "to get" the six-times champion jockey.

Fallon is one of six men, including two other jockeys, facing a charge of conspiracy to defraud customers of the online betting exchange, Betfair. Fallon, Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams are accused of being prepared to stop 27 horses between December 2002 and August 2004 to safeguard bets orchestrated by Miles Rodgers. All the defendants deny the allegations.

Paul Scotney is director of security at the British Horseracing Authority, which has assumed control of regulation from the Jockey Club, where he held a similar role. Christopher Sallon QC, representing Lynch's brother, Shaun, introduced the jury to an account received from the trainer Alan Jarvis.

He asked Scotney: "Did you, at a social meeting in November 2006, attended by Alan Jarvis, say quite audibly that you would get Kieren Fallon if it's the last thing you do?" Scotney replied: "I wouldn't have said that, no, sir."

Scotney was asked if it was possible that he had been drunk, and also denied that suggestion. Sallon responded by asking if he recalled a telephone conversation the following month, with a police officer named DC Price, in which he was "advised . . . that a complaint had been made by Mr Jarvis concerning a remark you had made at a social meeting". Scotney responded: "I don't recall that, no, sir."

Sallon then showed the witness a memorandum made by DC Price, concerning a telephone conversation with Scotney the following month. Scotney himself then quoted from the memorandum before him, pointing out that Price had recorded a "vehement" denial of Jarvis's allegation. Sallon asked if the memorandum had helped Scotney recall the episode. Scotney did not dispute the fact that the conversation with Price must have taken place, but did not recall it.

Sallon pressed him again: "You don't recall that you said, in drink, that you would get Fallon?" Scotney replied: "One: I would not have said that. Two: I would not have been drunk at a function like that."

Scotney had earlier denied that anything could be read into the recent appointment of Mark Manning, a police investigator in the case, to a post in his department. He told Peter Kelson QC, representing Rodgers, that he had not considered Manning prior to March, when a vacancy had become available only because two previous candidates had dropped out at the last minute. If he had previously been told of Manning's approaching retirement from the police, he could not remember it.

Kelson then produced an attendance note from his own client's solicitor, dating to June 2006. In it, the solicitor states that Rodgers himself had heard that Manning was leaving the police, and joining the BHA. Scotney did not change his position.

After 27 years in the police force, Scotney joined his present employers in October 2003. He passed this case on to City of London Police four months later.

The counsel representing Fergal Lynch, George Carter-Stephenson QC, asked Scotney if he had been aware of any police submissions about the cost of the case to the taxpayer. Describing himself as merely a "conduit", Scotney said he would have "distanced himself" from any suggestion that his employers should contribute financially to the investigation. It would not have been in his remit to respond.

Carter-Stephenson asked if the Jockey Club had been "dangling a carrot . . . in order to ensure that the City of London Police took it on"? Scotney had seen no evidence of that. "They were very keen to take this on," he said. "They were seen as the best in the country at investigating fraud."

Asked about his relationship with Ray Murrihy, the Australian expert due to testify later in the case, Scotney initially said that he had met him only once. He then agreed that he had met him a second time, but insisted that they had never discussed this case.

Among other evidence heard yesterday was an acknowledgement from Graham Dench, editor of the Form Book and chief race-analyst at the Racing Post, that it was "not unique but unusual" for a jockey to be lauded in comments-in-running. This had been the case when Daring Aim won a race at Newmarket in 2004 – one of 17 Fallon rides under review. The official summary detailed signs of reluctance in the horse and concluded with the words "fine ride". The Racing Post report commended a "masterful display" from Fallon.

The case was adjourned until today.