Mark Currie gets fine, suspended sentence

BRISBANE May 16 2019

Toowoomba trainer Mark Currie has been fined $7500 and given a wholly suspended 12 months-suspension after pleading guilty to two race day administration charges.

Currie had originally been disqualified for two years on 16 charges but had appealed to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The decision for him to plead guilty and be given a different sentence followed the appeal application and that two key witnesses were too ill to give evidence under cross examination.

It followed a lengthy legal process into charges which came to light after a raid on Currie's son Ben Currie's stable in April last year.

By agreement between the parties, Mark Currie pleaded guilty to charges that without the stewards permission he caused the administration of a medication to horses on the same day they raced at Toowoomba and Brisbane on March 24 and April 7 last year.

Currie was suspended for 12 months on each charge, wholly suspended for 12 months and fined $7500.

A restriction has been placed on his licence for a period of three months; until August 16 with the maximum number of horses he can train set at 40.

Currie is also unable to train those horses that were formerly trained by Currie Racing except for an agreed list of horses that are owned or part owned by Donna and Mark Currie.

At the expiry of the three month period, the transfer of any horses will be at the discretion of the stewards.

The settlement was the result of the QCAT appeal of Currie's two-year disqualification in May last year of 16 race day treatment related charges.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said the decision to bring these proceedings to finality resulted in part from legal advice about the inability of the commission to make key witnesses available due to ongoing health issues.

"In these circumstances I considered that an indeterminate further lengthy delay in these proceedings was not in the interests of racing and a negotiated settlement was appropriate," he said.

Ben Currie has several charges pending from the stable raid last year.

Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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