Toowoomba horse trainer fined for assault of stewards
FORMER Toowoomba horse trainer Ron Maund said he had been made to feel "belittled" and upset by a racing steward, prompting the then 73-year-old to spray him and another steward with degreaser.
Maund had been having heart problems and had fallen asleep in his car on a Southbrook property where he had horses stabled when on November 14, 2017, two officers from the Racing Integrity Unit approached.
Maund's barrister Frank Martin told Toowoomba District Court there had been long-standing animosity between his client and the older of the two stewards who had startled his client when he thrust his steward's badge into his client's face, demanding to know which horses belonged to Maund.
After some argument, Maund had eventually leaned into the stewards' car and retrieved the car keys which he took with him to the stables.
Refusing to hand over the keys, Maund had eventually grabbed a can of engine degreaser which he sprayed toward the stewards, accepting some had gone into the younger steward's eyes.
When the property owner intervened, Maund had likewise sprayed the substance in his direction.
Initially charged with seven separate offences arising from the incident, the Crown dropped five charges, leaving the now 75-year-old to plead guilty to one count of serious assault while armed and one count of serious assault.
Mr Martin spent some 20 minutes outlining his client's distinguished career in the racing industry throughout most states in Australia, submitting his client had been a respected member of the racing industry all his adult life and had not been suspended or disqualified as a jockey or horse trainer.
Judge Greg Koppennol said context was of paramount importance when sentencing an offender on such serious charges.
Taking all matters into account, Judge Koppennol fined Maund $2000 and ordered the convictions not be recorded.