Horse trainer Philip Fenton's court case is adjourned

Thursday 20 February 2014 19.26
Philip Fenton faces charges over possession of banned substances
Philip Fenton faces charges over possession of banned substances

One of Ireland's leading racehorse trainers may challenge the jurisdiction of the district court to hear his case on charges of possessing banned anabolic steroids and prescription-only medicines.

Philip Fenton, who trains at Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, was granted a one-month adjournment of his case to prepare legal submissions for the court.

Mr Fenton is one of the country's most high-profile national hunt trainers.

The former jockey has enjoyed success across Ireland and Britain, including at Cheltenham where he trained the winner of the Champion Bumper in 2009.

Another of his horses, Last Instalment, won one of the country's biggest National Hunt races - the Hennessy Gold Cup - at Leopardstown less than two weeks ago, and is a favourite for the Gold Cup at next month's Cheltenham Festival. 

This morning, a case against Philip Fenton was again listed at the district court in Carrick-on-Suir. He is facing eight charges relating to possession of banned anabolic steroids and possession of prescription-only medicines without having veterinary prescriptions for them.

Mr Fenton was not present in court for today's brief hearing.

His solicitor, Declan Molon, sought to have the case adjourned for six weeks to allow counsel draw up legal submissions which, he said, may impact on the court's jurisdiction to hear the case.

Prosecuting barrister John Ryan said his instructions were to seek a date for hearing.

He said the Department of Agriculture has up to 15 witnesses to call, some of whom are due to travel from France.

Mr Ryan described the grounds for applying for the adjournment as very vague.

Judge Terence Finn adjourned the case to 20 March.

He ordered that legal submissions to be made on Philip Fenton's behalf be furnished in writing a week in advance to both the court and the prosecution.

A conviction on any one of the charges which Philip Fenton faces carries a maximum fine of €5,000 and/or up to six months in jail.