Judge tells jury to disregard some of Liz Doyle’s evidence in Gordon case
The judge in the Chris Gordon defamation case against the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association on Wednesday told the jury in the High Court to disregard some of the evidence given by Liz Doyle the previous day.
Gordon, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's head of security, is the plaintiff in the case and his legal team, headed by senior counsel Mark Harty, objected to some of Doyle's evidence from Tuesday.
A legal argument between both parties meant the jury did not enter the courtroom until 3.20pm, when Mr Justice Barton explained the hold-up.
“I have to say to you that there was some evidence given by Miss Doyle,” the judge told the jury. “In particular, I'm quoting now from the transcript, she said to you she was 'absolutely clear' about what she was shown in the yard.
“She said she had 'ultimate clarity' and was 'one hundred per cent sure about what she saw'.”
He added: “She goes on, 'the stakes are so high for my reputation, for Mr Gordon's reputation, everybody's reputation. Unless I was one hundred per cent sure and had ultimate clarity on the situation, I would not be sat here today'."
Mr Justice Barton then explained that the truth of what Doyle saw on the morning her yard was inspected in March 2014 was not important for the jury to consider. What was important was what the witness’s belief was at the time of the event.
He said: “Insofar as any evidence that appears to you to be directed towards establishing the truth of what they saw, that as a matter of fact they saw a document like this, you're not concerned with that. You are to disregard that. You are only concerned with their state of mind.”
Mr Justice Barton added: “Evidence as to the state of mind and what they believed to be the position is what's relevant. As a matter of law that is what's relevant.”
Shortly after 4pm, Gordon Elliott gave brief evidence of an altercation with Department of Agriculture inspector Louis Reardon not long after Doyle’s yard was raided.
It is Reardon whom Noel Meade claims his contentious comments in an Irish Field interview dated August 2014 were directed at and not Gordon, who initiated defamation proceedings almost six years ago.
Recalling the random stable investigation from March 2014, Elliott claimed: "Mr Reardon made me feel like I was a criminal in my own yard. He intimidated me and his language was rude. I felt like I had done something wrong. He was very pushy and used bad language."
It is understood that Elliott relayed this information to IRTA chairman Meade some days later at a race meeting but no official complaint was lodged against Reardon.
The case continues in the High Court on Thursday when Doyle will take her place back in the witness box.
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