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Fletcher Out for 12 - Qld Gallops - Racehorse TALK

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Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-04, 12:12 PM Reply #250 »

The Fletcher matter looks like an open and shut case,

                                                                   ..... a case that should not have been opened should now be shut.

It won’t be and that is the real question on the table for discussion.


At the court  --G4 at the Downing Centre

I sat in on the opening addresses by ‘the crown’ and the ‘defence’ to the jury on Wednesday and Thursday.

All would be pleased to have Her Honour Judge Tupman in charge of any legal matter of personal interest – and that is just the top of the list of other points of pleasant interest.

Everyone at the bar table is very civil -- smiling and shaking hands.

Stephen Fletcher, the person charged with 78 criminal offences, makes an excellent impression as an open book.

His family is at court -- unable to comprehend that No.1 son could be convicted as a criminal.

Apart from that there seems to be no disagreement on the essential facts.

Mr Fletcher did make bets with corporate bookmakers on accounts in the name of others.

The contentious question, apparently, is whether such activity (bowler-bets) is fairly assessed as being akin to ‘deception’ and taking ‘financial advantage’ of a bookmaker.

The public policy issues

The first issue of a public policy nature is why this prosecution was launched.

Bookmakers have interacted with bowlers for ever – and in recent years using computer based online accounts.

I have no indication that any other bowler has been prosecuted. 

The decision to prosecute is presumably discretionary – and that begs the question of why select Mr Fletcher.

Of all the bowlers who have ever bowled a ball -- why was Mr Fletcher selected.


Then let your mind wander over a host of otherwise extraneous issues ...............about Mr Fletcher’s relationships with prominent people ............................about the involvement of serving and former police officers in the conduct of accounts used for anonymous ‘bowler bets’ ............ and, even, possibly, Mr Fletcher successfully appealing a penalty of Racing Queensland for inferences about the outcome of some winning bets.

There is a bit of background here – not least that the bets in question were placed some five or more years ago.

If bowler-bets were to be discouraged why has the 'test case' been held over for so long -- and why is the crown prosecuting a 'criminal' charge when the corporate bookmakers could have taken civil action.

There is also a bit of ‘foreground’ – the costs of running this case are, frankly, enormous.

The costs of defending the charges will be met by Mr Fletcher – with presumably no scope to recover those costs from the crown if he is found not guilty.

If this matter were to run for some four or five weeks -- some 20 days – then with little change from a cost-per-day averaging some $10,000 for Mr Fletcher – he could be up for some $250,000.

..... and that abstracts from the comparable  cost to taxpayers for the crown prosecution, the jury of 12, and the Judge and the court costs.

A wandering mind might wonder if this case was a sensible use of such an enormous amount of money for an alleged offence that could be obviated by a change to the rules of running a corporate bookmaking business.

... the punters case rests

A second public policy issues is about the nature of the betting relationship


Put sharply, one party was putting on bets recorded in the name of another with a business holding itself out to be a ‘bookmaker’ but running the business in a way which closed the accounts of Mr Fletcher, and others, considered more likely to win than lose.

In the minds of most punters businesses pretending to be bookmakers deserve to have any and everything bowled at them for starters – ahead of their license terms being altered to require that they accept ‘all bets’ up to a regulated loss-limit (as are regular on-course bookmakers).

No doubt over the next couple of weeks the nature of all this business will be explored in minute detail – the likely semantics would baffle the Bard – let alone 12 good jury-persons.

End piece

I have no intention of going back to this court for this matter.

My own mind was made up well before it got to a formal hearing and the relevant posts are above.
 

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-08, 10:15 AM Reply #251 »


The feelings of most of us are unlikely to be relevant to the way the world works,

                                           ...................even so, I do not have good feelings about this matter.

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-22, 10:54 AM Reply #252 »

A friend of Stephen Fletcher has emailed from the court


                                     Just letting you know that all charges dropped.

The problem, as set out above, is that the charges should never have been brought to court.

The Attorney General should seek a review of a decision that should not have been made .


Offline RobK

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« 2019-Oct-22, 02:37 PM Reply #253 »
A friend of Stephen Fletcher has emailed from the court


                                     Just letting you know that all charges dropped.

The problem, as set out above, is that the charges should never have been brought to court.

The Attorney General should seek a review of a decision that should not have been made .

Not sure who your source is Peter but that's not what happened. I'm sure the media will report on the matter in the coming days.

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-22, 05:01 PM Reply #254 »


Thank you RobK -- for joining the forum to let me know.

If I hear anything further I will say so.

I have been looking for some official commentary -- nothing of interest so far apart from a different judge listed as presiding today.



 

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-22, 05:22 PM Reply #255 »


Some possible confusion around but I am now told:

                            Same judge from the start.   Judge directed the jury to find all charges not guilty.

Offline RobK

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« 2019-Oct-22, 06:17 PM Reply #256 »
That's correct, was a directed verdict. There was no way the prosecution was dropping anything after this long. They were seeing it through until the bitter end!

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-22, 06:57 PM Reply #257 »

A disappointing intervention RobK

Do not tell me who you are.........your intervention was the kind of semantic diversion that I was fearful of.

The Judge directing the jury to find 'not guilty' on all charges is the critical point of the outcome.

Your further remark that:

                                  There was no way the prosecution was dropping anything after this long

                                                   They were seeing it through until the bitter end!

..................... actually adds weight to the importance of 'not guilty of all charges'.

Your remarks also add weight to the essential elements of my assessment that the matter should not have been prosecuted at all.

Was it an abuse of process?

Will the Attorney General ask for a review of the decision to prosecute?

Will the costs of defending a misguided prosecution be recovered from the crown?

....... this matter should not be considered 'over' except to the extent that that Mr fletcher is 'cleared of all charges'



Online fours

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« 2019-Oct-22, 07:54 PM Reply #258 »
Remember Rene Rivkin?

Way back when Woolworths floated he got around the limit of $2000.00 per customer in the float by doing >300 Trust applications.

No fraud at all but certainly a way of circumventing the fairness of the float.

Probably extremely relevant to this Fletcher matter ie nothing wrong about Fletcher having lots of agreements with others do do their thing on his behalf no doubt for a cut of the action. Unfair to the corps - probably but illegal???? Unlikely and thus the Judges direction.

Happy to be corrected.

Fours

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-22, 08:11 PM Reply #259 »


...... a bit slow to the party 'fours'? ........... it seems to be over.

Offline RobK

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« 2019-Oct-22, 08:31 PM Reply #260 »
Deleted.
« Last Edit: 2019-Oct-22, 09:04 PM by RobK »

Online fours

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« 2019-Oct-22, 08:33 PM Reply #261 »
Peter,

Understanding the turn of legal matters wont ever be over for you as it is beyond your powers of deduction - just like doing the form.

Fours

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-22, 09:10 PM Reply #262 »


RobK:  pompous lawyer -- joined today -- removed his final (pompous) post -- not too late to also resign today, Rob.

Please do not identify this man!

Offline RobK

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« 2019-Oct-22, 09:19 PM Reply #263 »

RobK:  pompous lawyer -- joined today -- removed his final (pompous) post -- not too late to also resign today, Rob.

Please do not identify this man!

I'm not sure what your issue is with me, I've not taken exception to anything you've said and I simply responded to the questions you asked of me. I removed the post because there was an abundance of typos which I will fix and repost tomorrow.

Online jfc

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« 2019-Oct-23, 04:49 AM Reply #264 »
A paywalled article about Fletcher brazenly doing something.

Seem to be about 10 allegedlies missing.



‘I’LL JUST BET AGAIN’: COURT HEARS HIGH-ROLLER’S
Seventy intercepted phone calls played in court allegedly recorded one of Sydney’s biggest gamblers joking about a scheme which saw him illegally pocket $330,000. See what else the court heard. SUBSCRIBE TO READ MORE.


https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=DTWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailytelegraph.com.au%2Fnewslocal%2Fwentworth-courier%2Fhigh-profile-gambler-stephen-fletcher-faces-trial-over-78-fraud-charges%2Fnews-story%2F99cdb6e5edcc41451f1b85ad0c92955f&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium
« Last Edit: 2019-Oct-23, 04:52 AM by jfc »

Online fours

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« 2019-Oct-23, 12:02 PM Reply #265 »
All

Telegraph has a story giving judges logic in part.

Fours

Offline Arsenal

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« 2019-Oct-23, 07:11 PM Reply #266 »
https://www.racenet.com.au/news/pro-punter-beats-fraud-charges-20191023

Pro punter beats fraud charges
 
Stephen Fletcher. Photo: News Limited.
 Article Author
Racenet8:35AM23 October 2019
15 Comments
High-profile punter Stephen Fletcher won again on Tuesday when 78 charges against him were dismissed.

Fletcher had spent the past four weeks on trial in the Downing Centre District Court faced with 78 charges of fraudulently using the accounts of friends to place bets which netted him more than $330,000 in winnings.

News Limited reported the case involved raids on the offices of the Homicide Squad, a hearing before the then Police Integrity Commission and a six-year investigation¬ involving extensive telephone taps.

Judge Sophia Beckett found the prosecution had failed to prove that Fletcher¬ had dishonestly obtained a financial advantage by using the accounts to place bets.

“The financial advantage did not arise until the horse or dog he placed a bet on won,” Judge Beckett said after discharging the jury.

There is no evidence¬ the accused had any influence over that result. Sometimes he won, sometimes he lost.”

Fletcher told the Daily Telegraph he was “relieved” and “indebted” to his legal team after the result.

The biggest win during the scheme was in February 2013 when a $1600 bet returned $56,000 when Alma’s Fury strode to victory in the Group II Apollo Stakes at Warwick Farm.
 Article Author
Read all News by Racenet

Giddy Up :beer:



Offline Peter Mair

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« 2019-Oct-23, 07:26 PM Reply #267 »



This cannot be the end of it ......... counting to 10 ............... letting the dust settle

Online jfc

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« 2019-Oct-23, 07:39 PM Reply #268 »
I have much more to say but decided censoring myself is prudent.

Fletcher won over $300,000 from 79 bets.

Had he tried placing his bets he would have a miniscule fraction of that.

Therefore the financial advantage is the difference between the 2 amounts.

His winnings have been documented in previous escapades.

He does not lose over 79 bets!

Anyway there's still an ATO issue that should be ahead of him.

Online jfc

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Online fours

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« 2019-Oct-24, 12:23 PM Reply #270 »
Grounds for appeal....

Centre around if garnering a right to possible winnings is properly regarded as a 'financial advantage.

Plenty of billionaires created from rights so some people certainly get financial advantages from same.

Possibly the judge sees such a right to possible winnings as too long a bow to draw such a conclusion in this instance..... but judges have been found wanting in betting matters in the past.

Fours

Offline Arsenal

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« 2019-Oct-24, 06:29 PM Reply #271 »
This is no reflection on the learned judge but you would think that if the evidence is so weak it wouldn't  take 4 weeks to instruct the jury to acquit.....the judge has only recently got her bum on the bench having been appointed from the Public Defender's Office in September she also prosecuted and succeeded in putting poor old Eddie behind bars...... the following Media Release outlines her background.

https://www.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/media-news/media-releases/2019/public-defender-ascends-to-district-court-bench.aspx

Giddy Up :beer:

Online PoisonPen7

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« 2019-Oct-25, 01:32 AM Reply #272 »
Good decision IMO.

He has breached the bookies rules by using accounts in other people's names.

But fraud????

Fraud is something completely different.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2019-Oct-25, 08:04 AM Reply #273 »
Agree PP.

Another case of betting operators not liking losing. I think all operators should lose minimum $10k per bet or the maximum bet of any bettor.

Some operators have no restrictions on deposits but have on withdrawals. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

Offline arthur

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« 2019-Oct-25, 08:32 AM Reply #274 »
What would I know . . But probably a 'breach of contract' situation, rather than fraud, and I haven't read the T&C's . . even though I have 'agreed' to them quite a few times . .

Ten years or so ago Fletcher used to send bowlers to the mid-week N.Qld TAB meetings, where the low holding bush bookies had to bet to the rules

These 'biggest bookies in the world' do what they like, even to small punters, with no oversight by stewards

Don't know if the decision is right or wrong, but it would certainly pass the Pub Test


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