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Fraud trial collapses over disclosure of BHA evidence

• Trainer had claimed he had been defrauded by employee
• BHA says it was under direction of West Mercia police

A six-week racing-related fraud case has collapsed after a judge ruled material held by the police and the British Horseracing Authority had not been properly disclosed to the defence. The case arose out of a complaint by the trainer Tony Carroll that he had been defrauded by a former employee, James Hamer, but the defence contended that all relevant cash movements had been carried out at Carroll’s direction.

As the case progressed at Hereford crown court, there was mounting concern about disclosure of evidence, particularly in relation to material compiled by the BHA that reflected on the credibility of prosecution witnesses. A single piece of BHA material was originally disclosed but more was produced in several stages during the hearing. According to a defence account of proceedings, matters came to a head when prosecution barristers found new material on the investigating officer’s laptop and sought time to review it.

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