Ben Melham and Ethan Brown have abandoned their appeals against the three-month bans for attending an illegal Airbnb gathering, and pleaded guilty to misleading stewards about Mark Zahra’s attendance.
It took just a matter of minutes for the jockeys’ legal representative, barrister Matthew Stirling, to inform the tribunal on Wednesday that Melham and Brown were no longer challenging the severity of their suspensions for attending the illegal party, which was in breach of state government’s COVID-19 restrictions and after curfew.
Ben Melham and fellow jockey Ethan Brown have abandoned their appeals against their three-month bans.Credit:George Salpigtidis
The pair had exercised their right to challenge the three-month ban, which ruled them out from competing over the lucrative spring carnival, but they expressed a change of heart on Wednesday.
Mr Stirling also argued that his clients were pleading guilty to misleading stewards but did not intend to plead guilty to providing false evidence to stewards.
The tribunal called a 10-minute adjournment to discuss whether the charge of giving any evidence at an interview, investigation, inquiry, hearing and/or appeal which is false or misleading can be differentiated and how the plea could affect any penalty.
Jamie Kah, who was also at the party, was hit with an additional two-month ban after unsuccessfully pleading not guilty to providing false or misleading evidence to stewards, while Zahra pleaded guilty and was hit with an additional month on top of the three-month ban for being at the Airbnb.
Kah has lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court against the two-month ban for misleading stewards.
More to come
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