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Appeal Update - Mr Dennis Mitchell

Before the Racing NSW Appeal Panel

Dennis Mitchell Mr Dennis Mitchell lodged an appeal against conviction and penalty after being found guilty by the stewards under AR 175(o) and AR175A on 6 June 2017 when employed as Australian Turf Club (ATC) General Manager, Security, Risks and Investigations. On the 16th June 2017 Mr Mitchell lodged the appeal outside the specified 2 days after decision by Stewards. On application of the appellant due to exceptional circumstances, that was not opposed by Stewards, the Appeal Panel has exercised its discretion under LR 106(2)(c) to allow the appeal out of time due to exceptional circumstances.

This appeal was part heard on Friday, 11 August 2017 at the office of Racing NSW. The Panel have adjourned the appeal to consider submissions made today by both parties on jurisdiction.

The panel gave the following summary:

1. In the appeal of Dennis Mitchell, the appellant was represented today by Mr Andrew Byrne of Counsel, instructed by Ms Conner of Laxon Lex Lawyers. The Stewards were represented by Mr Marc Van Gestel, the Chairman of Stewards.

2. The Panel heard submissions from both parties as to whether the Stewards had jurisdiction to inquire into certain conduct of Mr D Mitchell which forms the basis of the three charges laid against him, and to find him guilty of those charges and subsequently penalise him.

3. At the conclusion of those submissions, the parties agree the Panel, rather than today hearing the merits of the charges, should first deliver reasons on jurisdiction. Pending this outcome, the extent of the hearing of the charges may be more confined than they currently are.

4. The Panel agrees with this course, and has reserved its decision on jurisdiction.

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