Champion jockey Jamie Kah has been exonerated after being charged over her white powder controversy by the Victorian Racing Tribunal, while the person who filmed her in the incident has been found guilty and will face penalties.
The decision concludes a six-month legal dispute after a photo surfaced showing Kah, a nine-time Group 1-winning jockey, allegedly handling a white powder at a small gathering in her home.
‘It’s been the most challenging and testing year, but I’m so relieved that I can put it behind me now and focus on racing and being happy,’ Kah said following the hearing.
Both Kah and another individual, who pleaded not guilty, faced charges from stewards for conduct prejudicial to the image, interests, integrity, or welfare of racing.
The co-accused, stablehand Ruby McIntyre, admitted to covertly recording Kah and sharing the footage on a private social media account during a hearing last month and will face penalties in January.
McIntyre claimed she never anticipated nor intended for the video to be shared beyond that private setting.
The images of Kah and her co-accused were taken without her consent and the charges were dismissed
The decision brings to end six months of turmoil for the glamourous jockey
Kah and her co-accused will not face any further penalty over the white powder images
In delivering the verdict, the tribunal emphasised that the brief video in question was recorded without Kah’s knowledge or consent, and she became aware of its existence only a couple of days later.
Exactly what the white powder was remains unverified.
The three-member tribunal panel, featuring Judge John Bowman, Des Gleeson and Maree Payne, affirmed that Kah was unaware of the video being shared with another person until it became public through the media.
‘Your behaviour may have been immature, irresponsible and reckless, but there are two important features of it which led us to our conclusion,’ Judge Bowman read from the unanimous decision.
‘Firstly, you did not know the very short video or photo had been taken, secondly, you did not know at any relevant stage that it had been sent on to another person, or that it was proposed to be so sent.
‘Without our comfortable satisfaction as to those two features we are of the opinion the charge should be dismissed and that is the order which we make.’
McIntyre was found guilty of the conduct prejudicial charge, and a penalty hearing has been scheduled for January 18.
The white powder scandal had the potential to ruin the young jockey’s career
The stablehand who filmed Kah (pictured) without her consent was found guilty and will face penalties next month
Judge Bowman said the three ‘significant differences’ of the case against McIntyre and Kah.
‘Firstly, you deliberately took a short video of the powder and what Ms Kah was doing with it without telling her and in a surreptitious fashion, secondly and very importantly you sent both the group photo and the white powder photo onto another person,’ Judge Bowman said.
‘Thirdly you put an incriminating and identifying caption on the photo… in our opinion that behaviour by a licensed person is sufficient to constitute a breach.
‘Sending to another person the video of the white powder incident along with the earlier photo creates the real possibility the material would find its way into the media.
‘That seems to be exactly what occurred.’
Judge Bowman conceded McIntyre’s actions, while proven, were without malice.
‘We are comfortably satisfied the charge has been proven, the possibility of damage to the image and the like of the racing industry was a very real one, as the result of the publicity demonstrated,’ he said.
‘There was absolutely no finding of any intent on your part to damage the image of racing, or the image of Ms Kah, there is no malice, what we find is there was recklessness of a sufficiently high degree to make out the charge.’