Case against veterinary inspector dismissed
Trainer’s brother admitted possession of animal remedies including anabolic steroids
The Department of Agriculture in Dublin. Counsel for the department told Judge Patrick Clyne it was the complainant in both cases, and consented to the adjournment in the case of Patrick Hughes. Photograph: David Sleator
A case in which well-known racehorse trainer Patrick Hughes is accused of possession of unauthorised animal remedies was adjourned to December 18th, at Carlow District Court yesterday.
A separate case against the trainer’s brother, retired Department of Agriculture veterinary inspector John Hughes, was dismissed “on its merits” after evidence was given that John Hughes had made a donation of €10,000 to Kilkenny Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and agreed to pay court costs of €3,000 as well as witness costs of €100.
John Hughes had agreed to make the donation and pay court costs at an earlier hearing in October, where he admitted possession of five unauthorised animal remedies, including a substance called Nitrotain Oral Paste.
At the District Court in Carlow yesterday State solicitor Alan Millard said separate cases, involving charges of possession of unauthorised animal remedies, against both Patrick Hughes and his brother John Hughes were before the court.
Donnachadh McCarthy, counsel for the Department of Agriculture, told Judge Patrick Clyne the department was the complainant in both cases, and consented to the adjournment in the case of Patrick Hughes, until the 18th of this month.
In relation to John Hughes, Mr McCarthy told the court the department viewed the possession of unauthorised animal remedies as a serious offence, and all the more serious when the accused was a vet, and a former departmental veterinary inspector.
However Tristan Lynas of solicitors Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan told Judge Clyne the €10,000 had been paid to the animal charity and costs and expenses also covered. He asked that Probation Act not be applied, but that the case be dismissed “on its merits”.
Mr Lynas said John Hughes was 70 and had not offended before and was unlikely to come to the court’s attention in the future. He said Mr Hughes had adult children in Australia whom he may want to visit in the future, and he asked the court not to apply the Probation Act, as it might impact on any travel plans. He asked Judge Clyne to dismiss the case “on its merits”.
Mr McCarthy asked Judge Clyne to apply the Probation Act.
Judge Clyne said the original case had not been heard by him, but it appeared he had to make a decision that clearly came down to either applying the Probation Act or the dismissing the case on its merits.
He said he was dismissing the case on its merits.