WEIR CHARGED WITH CRUELTY

WEIR CHARGED WITH CRUELTY

Disgraced Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir has been charged by Victorian police over animal cruelty and conspiracy offences.

Weir was issued with nine charges which included “conspiracy to defraud Racing Victoria Limited stewards” and “engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying” of a horse.

A statement from Victoria police said that detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit had charged four men on summons as part of an investigation into alleged illegal activity within the thoroughbred racing industry.

Weir, 49, was issued with nine charges including:

Conspiracy to defraud Racing Victoria Limited Stewards;
Section 9(1)(a) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act – engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3;
Section 9(1)(c) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act – causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3;
Possess Unregistered Category A longarm.
Use controlled weapon without excuse.
Three other men were also charged, including a 39-year-old Yangery man, who is fellow trainer Jarrod McLean.

McLean faces 16 charges including:

Conspiracy to defraud Racing Victoria Limited Stewards;
195C Engage in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency x 2;
195F Use of Corrupt Conduct Information x 5;
Section 9(1)(a) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act – engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3;
Section 9(1)(c) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act- causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3; and
Possess Drug of Dependence (Cocaine).
You can read Racenet’s report on the emerging news about McLean by clicking HERE

A 27-year-old Warrnambool man has been issued seven charges including:

Conspiracy to Defraud Racing Victoria Limited Stewards;
Section 9(1)(a) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act – engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3; and
Section 9(1)(c) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act – causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3.
A 31-year-old Warrnambool man has been charged with one count of 195F Use of Corrupt Conduct Information.

All four will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on 23 October.

Weir was disqualified for four years by Racing Victoria in February after he offered no explanation for three electric shock devices (jiggers) being found hidden in his master bedroom.

The Melbourne Cup-winning handler has since been interviewed by police investigating allegations relating to the alleged corruption of races and animal cruelty.

The Herald Sun reports that photographic evidence was presented to Weir during the course of interviews amid suggestions horses had been struck with the jiggers while exercising on treadmills.

Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence unit has interviewed Weir on several occasions, following multiple lines of inquiry.

The unit is probing activity including obtaining financial advantage by deception and engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of an event or event contingency.

Several races from last year are under scrutiny.

The Victoria police statement said the charges “follow a number of warrants that were executed at properties in Miners Rest and Warrnambool on 30 January, 2019.”

“A number of items including a firearm and what is believed to be conducted energy devices were also seized from the properties,” the statement said.

”Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit have also been assisted by Racing Victoria during this investigation.”

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson made the following statement in relation to the matter.

“The core responsibility of Racing Victoria is to protect the integrity of the sport and to enforce the Australian Rules of Racing, ensuring both a level playing field for all and the health and welfare of horses competing in Victorian races. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously,@ Thompson said.

“In the course of discharging their duties, our Integrity Services team commenced an investigation into the activities of licensed persons in the Warrnambool and Ballarat areas.

“During the course of our investigation, the Integrity Services team sought the support of Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit on the matter thus instigating their investigation.

“Victoria Police have today issued charges against four persons as a result of their investigation which included the execution of warrants at properties in the Warrnambool and Ballarat areas on 30 January 2019.

“These are serious charges and the nature of the alleged conduct described within the charges is distressing to all within the racing industry, as well as the general community.

“Upon the issuing of charges today, our stewards have immediately opened inquiries and ordered three persons to attend tomorrow afternoon to answer questions in relation to the charges. Those inquiries will dictate our next steps.”

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