More phone recordings in corruption case

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    AS THE case against them heads into the last of the scheduled 10-day appearance, four alleged race fixers have had police evidence via intercepted texts in relation to their involvement in an act of corruption shown in court.

    Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley are in the Shepparton Magistrates accused of fixing the outcome of a race.

    The quartet, which were arrested during Breeders’ Crown Day at Melton last year, have pleaded not guilty to all charges relating to a race at Cobram on June 22, 2015.

    Along with arresting the ‘Cobram Crew’, detectives also confiscated several phones.

    They have been charged with conduct which corrupts the betting outcome of the race, among other offences, after an investigation into the tactics adopted during a race which led to Airbournemagic winning.

    It has been reported the race in question saw those involved pocket a substantial five-figure sum.

    If found guilty, the accused could face up to a decade in jail.

    During today’s session, the prosecution revealed an alleged text from Jack to Bartley the day before the race read “I’m pulling up that horse tomorrow.”

    Another text roughly a month after the race was allegedly sent by Bartley to Jack stating “(we can) never use one of Dad’s horses again.

    “When we took Metro (Airbournemagic’s stable name), Dad said he didn’t want anything to do with him, and any money he won, I was to have.

    “I rang him before to get him to take the money to Echuca, but he has already spent it.”

    The prosecution also alleges Jack later told Bartley the Police “have nothing and can’t use phone taps”.

    In a phone call intercepted by Police and played in court, Jack was heard saying to Turnbull: “If they interview us again, say you don’t remember anything. That’s what I’ll be saying.”

    The court also heard Turnbull admitted telling her brother, Nathan, to bet on Airbournemagic, which saw him collect $2600, but has denied she backed the pacer.

    Yesterday a recording from a Police interview with Pitt was played to the court, with Pitt stating: “He said he would lead and I would follow…at a fast pace.”

    The court was also shown texts between Pitt and Bartley, which allegedly revealed they were monitoring the odds leading up to the race.

    Pitt wrote: “Metro is at $15 now,” the court heard, with Bartley’s response “Maybe Nathan and Brocq (Robertson) backed him already.”

    In another text Turnbull allegedly wrote “Did you tell Nathan to bet for you?” to which Pitt replied “yep”.

    Pitt’s defense lawyer cross examined detectives while stating the manner of the Police interview was inappropriate.

    Last week representatives from Bet365 and Ladbrokes discussed how Airbornemagic was backed from $35 to $3.60.

    • PAUL COURTS

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