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Thursday 18 September 2014

Full day set aside to hear Fenton horse case

Conor Kane

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

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Racehorse trainer Philip Fenton
Racehorse trainer Philip Fenton

A full day has been set aside to hear the case against racehorse trainer Philip Fenton who is alleged to have had possession of unlicensed animal medicines, including anabolic steroids, in his yard.

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Eight charges against Philip Fenton, of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, have been brought by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the case was mentioned in court for the eighth time yesterday in Carrick.

Judge Terence Finn accepted jurisdiction in the matter, which means the hearing will take place in the district court rather than moving to a higher court.

Fenton, who has made a good start to the season with nine winners from 46 runners, attended yesterday's hearing, after which he declined to make any comment.

He wore a dark blue suit, blue check shirt and tie, and sat at the side of the courtroom with his solicitor Declan Molan.

State solicitor Paul Fitzpatrick said the charges arise from an inspection by the Department at Mr Fenton's training yard on January 18 of 2012.

Mr Fitzpatrick said a kilogram of Nitrotain, an anabolic steroid, was allegedly found at the yard as well as a 20ml bottle of Ilium Stanabolic, also an anabolic steroid.

Prescriptions

The trainer was also allegedly in possession of antibiotics for which he didn't have veterinary prescriptions, required under the relevant legislation.

The state solicitor said a file was sent to the DPP whose view was that it was a matter for the state prosecutor to deal with, and that it could proceed in the district court, subject to the judge's view.

Judge Finn said the court was satisfied to accept jurisdiction in relation to all eight charges. Mr Fitzpatrick said the State will have about eight witnesses and he wouldn't be in a position to marshall them all until late October. He expected the case to take about a day, he said.

Johnny Walsh, barrister for Mr Fenton, agreed with that timescale and said he didn't think the defence would be extending it beyond a day. Judge Finn adjourned the case until October 23, for hearing.

Mr Fenton's horses, including Dunguib and Last Instalment, both of which are now retired, were allowed to run at the Cheltenham Festival in March after the charges against him became public,.

An investigation by the BHA which found no evidenec of the administration of illegal substances.

Irish Independent

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