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Victoria Police issue charges against Weir

Victoria Police on Wednesday charged disqualified Victorian trainer Darren Weir over alleged animal cruelty and conspiracy offences.

The charges include conspiracy to defraud Racing Victoria, engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a thoroughbred race horse, and causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a thoroughbred race horse.

Weir and three other people also charged on Wednesday will face a hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 23rd.

Weir has been under investigation by police since three electronic jiggers were found in a bedroom of his Ballarat home in January. Weir andfellow trainer Jarrod McLean and former Weir employee Tyson Kermond were arrested and released without charge following the January 29th raids.

Weir was later disqualified for four years by the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board after pleading no contest to four charges, three of them in relation to the possession of the electronic apparatus on his licensed premises and the other for conduct prejudicial to the image of racing.

Darren Weir, picture Quentinjlang.com

Racing Victoria's issued the following statement on the charges: 

"Racing Victoria confirms that it has been advised by Victoria Police's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit that it has today issued charges against four persons in relation to its investigation into the activities of licensed or registered persons in the Warrnambool and Ballarat areas following the execution of warrants at properties on 30 January 2019," said the written statement from RV.

"RV (Racing Victoria) Stewards are giving these matters careful consideration and will provide a further update in due course."

The Victoria Police issued the following statement on the charges:

Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit have today (Wednesday) charged four men on summons as part of an investigation into alleged illegal activity within the thoroughbred racing industry.

A 49-year-old Baringhup man has been issued nine charges including:

• Conspiracy to Defraud Racing Victoria Limited Stewards;

• Section 9(1)(a) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act - engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3;

• Section 9(1)(c) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act - causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3;

• Possess Unregistered Category A longarm; and

• Use controlled weapon without excuse.

A 38-year-old Yangery man has been issued 16 charges including:

• Conspiracy to Defraud Racing Victoria Limited Stewards;

• 195C Engage in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency x 2;

• 195F Use of Corrupt Conduct Information x 5;

• Section 9(1)(a) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act - engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3;

• Section 9(1)(c) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act- causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3; and

• Possess Drug of Dependence (Cocaine).

A 27-year-old Warrnambool man has been issued seven charges including:

• Conspiracy to Defraud Racing Victoria Limited Stewards;

• Section 9(1)(a) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act - engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying of a Thoroughbred Race Horse

x 3; and

• Section 9(1)(c) of Prevention Cruelty to Animals Act - causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a Thoroughbred Race Horse x 3.

A 31-year-old Warrnambool man has been charged with one count of 195F Use of Corrupt Conduct Information.

All four will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on 23 October.

The charges follow a number of warrants that were executed at properties in Miners Rest and Warrnambool on 30 January, 2019.

A number of items including a firearm and what is believed to be conducted energy devices were also seized from the properties.

Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit have also been assisted by Racing Victoria during this investigation.

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