A former greyhound trainer convicted of live baiting offences has won the right to attend thoroughbred race meetings through the Victorian Racing Tribunal.
Darren McDonald was disqualified for 20 years, 10 of which were suspended, for live baiting offences described as “barbaric, vile and abhorrent” in December 2015.
The Greyhound Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board banned McDonald until February 2025.
McDonald sold his shares in racehorses as part of his disqualification, but he attended thoroughbred meetings without incident or inquiry over the next four years.
However, Racing Victoria wrote to McDonald in November last year banning him from racetracks, advising him his presence at meetings could prejudice the image and interest of racing.
The correspondence stated stewards allegedly observed McDonald at a Mornington meeting last October.
McDonald said he had attended the races regularly in the previous four years but denied being at the Mornington meeting in question.
Disgraced greyhound trainer Darren McDonald in 2014.Source:News Limited
He took his case to the Victorian Racing Tribunal. McDonald argued he had been denied natural justice and the rules of racing did not apply to him because he was no longer a registered owner of racehorses.
McDonald also said he wanted to continue attending the races as he has advanced Parkinson’s disease with racing his only real social outlet.
The VRT panel, headed by Judge John Bowman, rejected McDonald’s submission that he was not bound by the rules of racing but agreed he had been denied natural justice.
The VRT judgment described Racing Victoria’s handling of McDonald’s ban as “simply not good enough”.
The panel ruled McDonald could continue to attend race meetings as a spectator or punter but could not own horses or have any other privileges until his greyhound disqualification ends.
Originally published asLive baiter wins right to attend races
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