The successful lawyer known as Mr Loophole is the latest voice to call for an inquiry into the handling of recent investigations into alleged race fixing, after the case agaist his client, trainer Alan Berry, was formally dismissed in court today. (Friday, January 11)
Nick Freeman, of leading Manchester-based solicitors Freeman and Co, said Berry was delighted by the news and was determined to re-establish himself among the training ranks.
Today’s dropping of the case against Berry comes just weeks after a separate high-profile trial involving champion jockey Kieren Fallon and five co-defendants collapsed.
Freeman said: “The allegations were as serious as any a successful racehorse trainer like Alan could have faced – but they were flawed and without substance, as today’s hearing proves.
“Alan has always maintained his innocence and is delighted by today’s news. It finally clears his name after a long-running battle and fully vindicates him of any wrong-doing. He would like to thank all those people who have supported him during what has clearly been a very difficult time.
“Although fiercely-contested, these allegations have hung over the head of my client for more than four years. Regrettably, they have been detrimental to his career and his livelihood.
“His number one priority now is to put the case behind him and, with the new turf Flat season to look forward to, re-establish his name at the top of the training ranks. The winner’s enclosure is now where he wants to be – not a court room and I know he has some useful young horses looking for new owners!”
Mr Freeman added: “This was clearly another horse racing case that should never have come to court in the first place. Today’s decision adds to the concerns already raised about the way these investigations have been handled by both the police and the racing authorities.
“Like Fallon’s, this case has cost the taxpayer an immense amount of money, and cost the public image of racing a whole lot more. There needs to be a full and transparent investigation into the way these cases have been carried out so that all those involved can be accountable for their actions, and the sport can learn lessons for the future.”
Freeman, dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the media, has defended a string of top celebrities including Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and Jeremy Clarkson.