Tag Archives: News

Drunk horse-riders

March 28, 2009

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Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,485348,00.html ; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/7861406.stm ; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/7861406.stm

 

Who’d have thought that drunk riding was so popular? You wait all year for a drunken horse-riding case and three come along at the same time!

 

In Cody (Wyoming), 28-year old Benjamin Daniels was charged with public intoxication after slowly riding a white horse along a street during a snowstorm. Police said he was a road hazard.

 

The same month, when 31-year old Maxine Wiltshire was riding her horse around Hemel Hempstead (UK), her horse lost a shoe. Unable to ride him back to the stables, Ms Wiltshire called a relative to pick her up in a trailer. While she was waiting however, she proceeded to drink two small bottles of vodka. Later that afternoon, Police were called to the Greenacres pub in the shopping centre to deal with a clearly intoxicated Ms Wiltshire. Indeed, witnesses stated that when a dog walker asked Ms Wiltshire to steer clear of his pet, she replied: “My horse will eat your dog!” In court, Ms Wiltshire accepted that it was unwise to take the horse into the shopping centre and pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of a horse in a public place. She was fined £50 plus £50 costs.

 

31-year old Geoffrey Blacklin was also fined for riding while intoxicated. In this case, it was for riding bareback through the streets of Newcastle. He was charged under the 1872 Licensing Act and fined £150  and £35 costs for being caught drunk “in charge of a carriage horse, cattle or steam engine.”

 

On each occasion none of the horses were charged. Although I think this may have been due to their failure to blow into the breathalyzer correctly!

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Cage-fighting: the new alternative dispute resolution for schools

March 27, 2009

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Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/032009dnmetcagefolo.3cd76bd.html; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/19/south-oak-cliff-high-scho_n_177180.html; http://www.hsgametime.com/dfw/sharedcontent/dws/content/topstories/stories/022109dnspohssoclede.36c49001.html ;

Read the report here: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/03-09/0318cagefight.pdf  

According to investigators, between 2003-5, staff at South Oak Cliff High School (based in Dallas) forced students to “duke it out” bare knuckle style in a steel cage while other students clapped and screamed (the “cage” was apparently a section of the boys’ changing room barricaded by wire mesh and steel lockers).

The report was produced by Frank McCammon, an investigator with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). Ironically, the fighting came to light as a result of a separate investigation into grade-fixing at the school in order to allow students to continue to play for the school basketball team in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. McCammon’s report (first obtained by The Dallas Morning News), describes two instances of pupils fighting in the cage with no head or eye protection, however it was not clear from the report what the extent or duration of the fighting was, or whether anyone required medical attention. In March 2008, the DISD submitted the report to district officials, the Dallas County DA and the police department. Shockingly, no charges were ever brought against school staff as the statute of limitations had run out by the time the cage fights were discovered, although apparently “discipline” (whatever that means?) was taken.

When questioned by the Dallas Morning News, Donald Moten (the school’s former principal who resigned last year following the grade-fixing allegations) denies that any fights ever took place.

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“Guard donkeys” injure horserider

March 27, 2009

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Source:  http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article984504.ece ;

55-year old Patrice Curtice is suing Frank Morsani (a 77-year old millionaire automobile dealer) after her first date with Angel Valdez (a former jockey) ended in disaster last June. The pair were horseback riding in Spring Hill when they were attacked by two “guard” donkeys which had escaped from Morsani’s ranch.

 

Apparently, the Donkeys bit at the hindquarters of Curtice’s horse, causing it to rear and flip Curtice onto her back. The horse and donkeys then stomped on Curtice’s back whilst she was on the floor, until her horse bolted and was chased the donkeys. She broke seven ribs, bruised her lungs and her spine and had hoof bruises on her lower back.

 

Curtice is suing for negligence release, caused by a failure to fix the property fence. Morsani on the other hand questions why he has any responsibility and stated that his “fence was cut by somebody and this allowed our livestock to get out. I’m sorry what happened to them … but somebody let our cows out.”

 

Only in America would you have guard donkeys!!!

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Horse-rider dies on pilgrimage

March 26, 2009

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Source: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=277210

 

Horse & Hound reports that a 63-year old woman has died after falling from a horse during a pilgrimage in India on Saturday 14th February. She was travelling to the Vaishnodevi Temple in Reasi. What is interesting about this incident is that allegedly local police have launched a case against the man who hired her the horse.

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Calzaghe disliked the least

March 24, 2009

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Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/boxing-calzaghe-clobbers-warren-for-1632m-1646412.html

 

Read the full case here: Sports Network Ltd v. Joe Calzaghe CBE [2009] EWHC 480 (QB) http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2009/480.html

 

The High Court has finally decided on the outcome of the Frank Warren (Boxing Promoter, and director of Sports Network Ltd) vs Joe Calzaghe CBE (world champion professional boxer) fight. It was a closely fought battle, but arguably Calzaghe narrowly won on points, and Warren has been told to pay Calzaghe £2m in unpaid fees.

 

If you read the case, it is clear that the Judge (Mr Wyn Williams) is very critical of many of the participants in the case. Both Calzaghe and Warren’s behaviour was shabby at best, and both men were complicit in the deception of the governing body in relation to avoiding fees [62]. Calzaghe’s lawyer (Mr Gareth Williams) was also accused of misleading the court [107], and Calzaghe himself was accused of lying while giving evidence [138]. Warren came off little better and his counterclaim for £1m was described at [155] as a “smokescreen…..to avoid payment by the Claimant to the Defendant of a very substantial sum of money”

 

The facts of the case concern whether an agreement was reached for Warren’s company – Sports Network Ltd to promote Calzaghe’s last (and ultimately successful) fight on 8th November 2008 against Roy Jones Jr. Warren claimed that because Calzaghe promoted this fight himself, he was in breach of contract, and Warren therefore withheld payment of the fees from the previous fight against Bernard Hopkins in compensation for this breach. The issue before the court was therefore whether a contract (oral or written) was in existence for Sports Network Ltd to promote the Roy Jones fight. Ultimately, the court held that this contract did not exist and found for Calzaghe, despite Warren’s claim of an oral agreement and a handshake (or hugs) between the two parties. What was material about the case was Mr Justice Williams’ view that if a contract had been agreed between the two parties, Warren was such an astute businessman that the contract would quickly have been written up and signed. The fact that nothing was ever put in writing, seemed to suggest that an agreement was never actually reached.

 

That said, neither party emerges from the case with any distinction. Indeed, the facts of the case are muddier than a very muddy footpath. It seems not so much that Calzaghe won, rather that Williams J disliked him the least.

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BACS do not have to become arms dealers!

March 18, 2009

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Source: The British Association for Shooting and Conservation Ltd v. The Commissioner for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2009] EWHC 399 (Ch)

 

The High Court (Chancery Division) has just heard an appeal from the VAT & Duties tribunal on whether membership subscriptions for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation Ltd (BASC) should be taxable. Ultimately the court hedged its bets and referred the matter back down to the tribunal to review its decision, on an error of law. It did however confirm a number of important principles.

 

The case hinged on the subscription income (£5.6m in 2007) received by BACS from its 130,000 members. Members would then receive a magazine (zero-rated), insurance (exempt-rated) and a number of other services. Revenue & Customs suggest that these other services should be classed as standard-rated and therefore liable to VAT.

 

At the tribunal, neither side objected to these services being bundled together, however in the High Court, BACS sought to unbundled them into specific services or products, in a view to minimising any tax liability. This was rejected in this case (but not for any future assessments) as these points had not been raised originally at the tribunal.

 

BACS relied on two exemptions to argue that they were not liable to VAT:

1)       CIVIC or POLITICAL – “supply of services and goods closely linked thereto for the benefit of their members in return for a subscription fixed in accordance with their rules by non-profit-making organisations with aims of a political, trade-union, religious, patriotic, philosophical, philanthropic or civic nature, provided that this exemption is not likely to cause distortion or competition.” (Article 132 (1)(L)  EC Council Directive 28 November 2006) and

2)       SPORT – “certain services closely linked to sport or physical education supplied by non-profit-making organisations to persons taking part in sport or physical education” (Article 132 (1)(M)  EC Council Directive 28 November 2006)

 

 

Civic or Political Exemption

In order to prove this exemption, BACS needed to prove five things:

a)       that it is a non-profit organisation (agreed)

b)       that it makes supplies of services (agreed)

c)       that the services are supplied for the benefit of its members (agreed)

d)       that the services are supplied in return for a fixed subscription (agreed)

e)       that the aims of the organisation are of a political, trade-union, religious, patriotic, philosophical, philanthropic or civic nature (disputed)

 

The Court ultimately held that although BACS had multiple aims, including conservation and political roles, the tribunal was right in deciding that BACS primary aim was in being a representative body for sporting shooters. As such this role was not sufficiently civic or political, and the appeal on these grounds was rejected.

 

 

Sporting Exemption

BACS appeal on sporting grounds was more controversial and again needed to satisfy five parts:

a)       that it is a non-profit-making organisation (agreed)

b)       that it makes supplies of services (agreed)

c)       that the services are supplied to persons taking part in sport (disputed)

d)       that the services are closely linked to sport (disputed)

e)       that the supply is essential to the transactions exempted (disputed)

 

In deciding parts 3-5, the High Court placed a lot of weight on the recent ECJ decision in Canterbury Hockey Club v. Revenue & Customs Commissioners [2008] STC 3351 which also concerned subscription fees. The High Court decided that the exception applied to sport generally rather than specific categories and those services are closely related to participation in sport only if they are “ancillary” to that participation (ie not an end in themselves but an enhancement of participation).

 

The key decision for a court is therefore ‘whether BACS services are essential to the sport of shooting?’ The court held at [36] that while the tribunal made a number of errors of law in BACS’s favour, the key test expressed of whether there was a direct link between BACS and its members was too high and therefore an error of law. As such, the case was referred back to the tribunal to decide this issue again.

 

The fact that this test does not have to be direct is good news, and means that BACS does not have to become a major arms dealer and supply guns to its members! However, it will need to make out a better case that what it is doing has a close link to participation. In this respect, the fact that membership of BACS is not compulsory is a factor that will count against them, as it will be more difficult to evidence that their services are essential.

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Gambling addictions start at Kindergarten

March 17, 2009

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Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKTRE5220Z920090303?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&sp=true

 

If Canadian researchers from the Universite de Montreal are to be believed, children rated as impulsive by their kindergarten teacher appear more likely to begin gambling behaviours like playing cards or placing bets before they hit middle school.

Researchers asked Kindergarten teachers for 163 students to complete a questionnaire on their pupils at the beginning of the school year in order to rank the children’s inattentiveness, distractibility and hyperactivity. Six years later, the researchers asked the (now 11yr old) children in telephone interviews how often they participated in gambling-related behaviours such as playing cards or bingo, buying lottery tickets, playing video games or video poker for money or placing bets at sporting events or with friends.

After controlling for factors like family composition, parents’ education and household income, the researchers found an increase of one unit on the impulsivity scale in kindergarten corresponded to a 25 percent increase in gambling involvement by the sixth grade.

The full research study appears in the Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/163/3/238

Sorry I’d better go, one of my gymnasts wants me to place a bet for them…….

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Brazilian Boxing match, sorry football championship game!

March 17, 2009

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Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKTRE51J5DM20090220?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews; http://sportsrubbish.blogspot.com/2009/02/video-soccer-brawl-between-brazilian.html; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/4734178/Brazilian-goal-celebration-leads-to-a-pitch-brawl-and-seven-red-cards.html  

 

Seven players went sent off after a fight (try mass riot!) was sparked by Rogeiro Pereira’s goal celebration in the Rio Grande do Sul championship between Brasil and Ulbra. The game ultimately finished 5-2 to Ulbra (that’s goals rather than suspensions!), Four Brasil players (Danrlei, Luciano (reserve) Gleidson and Alex Martins) and three Ulbra players (Henry, Juninho (reserve goalkeeper) and Rogerio Pereira) were sent off following the brawl.

The fight broke out after Pereira (an Ulbra player) celebrated in front of the Brasil supporters.

According to Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, Brasil’s goalkeeper Danrlei said that Pereira had made a gesture in his goal celebration imitating Claudio Millar (one of the top players for Brasil who died along with 2 other players and coaches in a bus crash in January) which deliberately provoked the home fans.  Pereira was then attacked by the Brasil players near the corner flag, before footballers, team officials and even the Brasil President (Elder Lopes) joined in the fight.

Pereira denied any intent to offend.

You can see footage of the brawl on Youtube:

 

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Iraqi Spectator not part of ‘Prawn Cocktail Brigade’

March 15, 2009

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Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7944919.stm

 

BBC News reports that an Iraqi football player has been shot dead by a spectator as he was about to score an equalising goal. According to police, the shooting apparently happened in the last minute of a game between two local rivals (Sinjar and Buhayra) in the city of Hilla on Sunday. Police have arrested the gunman. At least it puts this Man Utd-Liverpool ‘hatred’ into perspective.

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IPL postponed

March 13, 2009

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Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/7942095.stm

We reported earlier this week that the Indian Cricket League has had to be postponed until later in the year due to the credit crunch, well now it seems that the same fate has befallen the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Indian officials have announced today that because the IPL dates (10 April – 24 May), clash with National elections in the country (16 April – 13 May), the government has said it will not have enough security officials to guarantee player safety during this time. Instead, the IPL will have to move its playing schedule (after the government refused to move its elections!) and new dates for the competition should be published shortly.

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