Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Fenton hearing adjourned again

Philip Fenton's case was adjourned
Philip Fenton's case was adjourned

Trainer Philip Fenton will have to wait at least another several weeks to defend himself against charges of possession of steroids.

The 49-year-old sat by himself at the back of Carrick-on-Suir district court in Co Tipperary today as lawyers pleaded for more time to deal with submissions in the case.

Judge Terence Finn put the hearing back for mention at the same courthouse on May 15.

Fenton, of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, is facing eight charges over treatments and medicines found by state inspectors at his yard.

At a hearing last month, his legal team were given four weeks to file submissions on issues they claim to have found on summonses detailing the prosecution.

Those files were sent to the chief state solicitor's office on March 10 and prosecutors have asked for more time to consider them.

There was no objection from the defence team.

The case against Fenton was brought about by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine following an inspection of his yard on January 18, 2012.

The eight charges include alleged possession of Nitrotain and Ilium Stanabolic and prescription medicines including Engemycin 10%, Neomycin Penicillin and Marbocyl 10%.

If a trial goes ahead on the charges, between 12 and 15 witnesses are expected to be called, including one from France.

No plea has been entered.

Fenton's runners at Cheltenham last week, Last Instalment, Dunguib and Value At Risk, were tested by the British Horseracing Authority before being cleared to run at the showpiece meeting, with all three producing negative tests for any banned substances.

Barry Connell made the difficult to decision to rule star novice hurdler The Tullow Tank out of Cheltenham when news of the charges against Fenton first came to light.

The leading owner insisted none of his horses in training with Fenton would run again until after the case was concluded and he is sticking to his position, despite the fact it means The Tullow Tank will have to miss the big meetings at Aintree, Fairyhouse and Punchestown, effectively ending his campaign.

Asked whether the adjournment meant The Tullow Tank would not run again this season, Connell told Press Association Sport: "Yes. There is no change in our position."

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