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PJA joins call to provide defence funding for riders.

Byline: Graham Green

THE Professional Jockeys Association has thrown its weight behind solicitor Andrew Chalk's call for the creation of a central fund to help meet defence costs in the most serious disciplinary cases heard by the BHA, writes Graham Green.

PJA chief executive Kevin Darley is planning to raise the issue with incoming BHA chief executive Paul Bittar next month amid growing concern that the cost of legal representation, with some barristers charging up to pounds 5,000 per day, has created a serious imbalance in resources between the regulator and defendants at major inquiries.

Before being warned off for 12 years earlier this month as part of a corruption case he chose not to attend, Paul Doe became the latest journeyman jockey to claim the disciplinary process was stacked against him because of his inability to afford a lawyer.

Darley said: "These cases are extremely complex so an unrepresented defendant will rarely be able to adequately present their case and the sanctions can be career ending.

"It must be unacceptable for a defendant to be deprived of legal representation for financial reasons when the BHA do not suffer from the same difficulties. The interests of justice demand a level playing field."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2011
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