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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Race-fix officer 'not impartial'
Miles Rodgers
His counsel described Mr Rodgers as a "prolific gambler"
The impartiality of the detective in charge of the race-fixing case has been questioned at the Old Bailey.

Defence counsel Peter Kelson, QC, said acting Detective Inspector Mark Manning, who was due to retire, had been offered a job at the Jockey Club.

He said the jury should have "deep anxiety" about his impartiality.

Six defendants, including former champion jockey Kieren Fallon, deny conspiracy to defraud customers of internet betting exchange Betfair.

Mr Kelson, counsel for Miles Rodgers, 38, of Silkstone, South Yorkshire, said his client was simply a "prolific professional gambler" who obtained tips from jockeys and others in the racing industry and placed wagers on Betfair.

Kieren Fallon
Fallon is due to ride in Ireland on Wednesday evening

He pointed out that despite the prosecution's claims that it was a "sophisticated and cunning conspiracy", the alleged conspirators had actually made a loss of 278,067 on the 27 races in question.

Conspiracy

He said Mr Rodgers betted on a number of other sports, including boxing, cricket, football and tennis, as well as on events like Pop Idol and Big Brother.

There was laughter around the court when Mr Kelson said his client had wagered 6 on the Eurovision Song Contest and added "he kept a grip of himself on that one".

Mr Kelson said Mr Rodgers had frequently "boasted" of his contacts in the racing industry and had made no attempt to "keep under the radar" as you would have expected if he was a major conspirator.

The prosecution also alleges that jockey Fergal Lynch, 29, of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, acted as an intermediary between Mr Rodgers and Kieren Fallon in a conspiracy to make horses lose.

Mr Fallon, Mr Rodgers and Mr Lynch, as well as Mr Lynch's brother Shaun Lynch, 37, of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Darren Williams, 29, of Leyburn, North Yorkshire and Philip Sherkle, 42, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, have all pleaded not guilty to being involved in the alleged race-fixing scam.

Mr Rodgers also denies concealing the proceeds of crime.

Mr Fallon has won six champion jockey titles in the UK and on Sunday he won France's biggest race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The trial continues.



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