Decision of Appeals Tribunal on Application for a Stay of Penalty – dated 23 May 2023 – Matthew White
Waikato BOP Harness Racing Inc
Cambridge Raceway - 1 Taylor Street, Cambridge, 3434
Nil - via teleconference
Penalty: N/A - Application for a stay of penalty is granted to Driver Matthew White
1. On Thursday 18 May 2023, the Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Racing Club conducted a Harness meeting at the Cambridge Raceway.
2. Following Race 5, the Appellant was charged with careless driving. He did not admit the charge and following a defended hearing, the Adjudicative Committee found the charge to be proved.
3. The Appellant made submissions as to penalty and suggested a fine would be appropriate. However, the Adjudicative Committee imposed a suspension of his Driver Licence from the conclusion of racing on 19 May 2023 to 2 June 2023.
4. The Appellant has appealed both the finding and the penalty which was imposed. He has also made Application for a stay of penalty pending hearing of the Appeal.
5. The Appellant indicated he was appealing the charge and sought a stay in order to continue to earn a living pending hearing of the Appeal. He confirmed he had the opportunity to drive in five (5) or six (6) races at the Auckland Trotting Club’s Premier Meeting to be conducted on Friday 26 May 2023.
6. He confirmed he did not admit the charge and defended it. He also endeavoured to draw a parallel with another Open Driver, who continues to drive under a stay of penalty pending the hearing of that person’s Appeal.
7. Mr Renault made it clear he was of the view the Appeal was an Appeal of convenience only, to enable the Appellant to drive in premier races on Friday. On this basis, the RIB as Respondent, opposes the Application.
8. At the hearing on race night, the Appellant was informed it was not permitted under the Rules for any deferment to include the Premier Race Night.
9. It is the RIB’s view the Application for stay is one of convenience only, to enable him to drive this Friday night.
10. This Appeals Tribunal is not able to form any view as to the likelihood or otherwise of success at the hearing of the Appeal.
11. In the Application for stay, the Appellant considers the Adjudicative Committee should have taken into account the Premier Race Day Meeting to be conducted on Friday.
12. The Appeals Tribunal drew the Appellant’s attention to recent cases including, but not limited to, De Filippi v RIB and Bosson v RIB, where it has been made clear the importance or otherwise, of meetings which would come within any period of suspension, should not be a factor in determining any period of suspension.
13. Nevertheless, the Appellant did not admit the charge and from reading the Adjudicative Committee’s decision, did appear to defend the charge with some force.
14. Given the circumstances that the charge was not admitted, this Appeals Tribunal is not able to form any view as to the likelihood or otherwise, of success at the Appeal hearing, it is appropriate for the Application for a stay of penalty to be granted.
15. The Appellant’s Application for a stay of penalty imposed by the Adjudicative Committee on 18 May 2023 is granted, pending the hearing of the Appeal.
16. The matter of costs on this Application will be reserved until the hearing of the formal Appeal.
Decision Date: 23/05/2023
Publish Date: 24/05/2023