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Club chairman’s seven year ban for ‘misrepresentation’

Kennel Club rule A42 hearing report
The Kennel Club -v- Mr Richard Hallam

Paul Keevil reports

On Thursday of last week a former Chairman of a KC Registered Breed Club appeared before the Disciplinary Sub-Committee of The Kennel Club to answer complaints bought against him by The Kennel Club.

These suggested that Mr Richard Hallam behaved discreditably and prejudicially to the interests of the canine world in that he repeatedly engaged in activities to the detriment of a Kennel Club Registered Society, namely the Coton de Tulear Club of the United Kingdom.

The charges included -

Wrongly and without authority interfering in the affairs of the said Kennel Club registered society including the following activities:

Interfering with venue owners before a scheduled licensed event.

Interfering with professional advisors, namely Oliver Accountings Services.

Wrongly and without authority holding himself out and representing himself as being associated with the said Kennel Club registered society and thereby causing confusion within and without the canine world.

Wrongly and without authority holding himself out as being the Chairman of the said Kennel Club registered society.

Mr Hallam represented himself at the hearing, whilst The Kennel Club’s case was presented by Mr Martin Evans, Counsel to The Kennel Club, who has presented such cases for the KC on a number of occasions. Also in attendance, were the five members of the Disciplinary Sub Committee, Mrs Linda Branwhite, the KC Disciplinary co-ordinator and members of the Canine Press. No witnesses were called nor were any in attendance.

The Kennel Club had prepared a large bundle of papers and documents, a ring binder full in fact, as it was originally understood that Mr Hallam would not be attending the hearing and it was felt that such documentary evidence would be necessary to gain a full and clear understanding of the background to the case. Indeed the press were originally informed that in all probability the respondent would be absent.

However Mr Hallam did attend, as was his right to do so and the hearing took up a full day. The morning session was mainly taken up with procedural matters and Mr Hallam, who described himself at the hearing as an accountant, raised a large number of issues which the chairman considered were not relevant to the complaint and on several occasions the Chairman request that Mr Hallam address the complaint in hand and not digress. Mr Hallam appeared reluctant or unable to do so and continually championed his right to a fair and proper hearing and on more than one occasion quoted from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

After what can probably be best described as a ‘challenging’ morning session, the hearing broke for an hour’s lunch at 1:15pm, when it was agreed that after lunch Mr Hallam would be given a fixed amount of time to present his case as he saw fit. This he did unchallenged and after some brief questions from Mr Evans on behalf of The Kennel Club, the sub committee went into recess at approximately 3:15pm to consider the case and reach a decision. Shortly after this, Mr Hallam decided to leave the building, never to return.

On recall the hearing was told that the Sub Committee was upholding the complaint in full, a statement was issued and the following penalties were announced:-

‘The Committee having carefully considered the evidence, find that the complaint bought by The Kennel Club under Kennel Club Rule A42 a (1) (c) against Mr Richard Hallam namely that he behaved discreditably or prejudicially to the interests of the canine world in that he repeatedly engaged in activities to the detriment of a Kennel Club Registered Society, namely the Coton de Tulear Club of the United Kingdom is upheld.

The Committee impose the following penalties:

1. To warn him as to his future conduct [(A42 j (1)]

2. To Censure him [(A42 j (2)]

3. To Disqualify him from being or becoming a member of any canine club or society registered with or affiliated to the Kennel Club [a42 j (5)]

4. To disqualify him from acting as an officer or serving on the committee of any canine society [a42 j (6)]

5. To disqualify him from taking part in the management of any event licensed by the Club [a42 j (7)]

The disqualifications are for a period of seven (7) years from 27th September 2007.

‘The committee is satisfied that Mr Hallam was aware of the decision taken at the special General Meeting of the Coton de Tulear Club of the United Kingdom on 27 February 2005. Mr Hallam had been advised and was aware that his appeal against that decision was dismissed by The Kennel Club

Therefore, on the evidence presented by The Kennel Club and on Mr Hallam’s own submissions, it is clear to this committee that, on occasions Mr Hallam has carried on as if he were the Chairman of the Coton de Tulear Club of the United Kingdom and has otherwise been concerned and involved in the affairs of the Club. It is the Committee’s finding that Mr Hallam had no authority to represent himself as such.

It is the Committee’s view that a Kennel Club Registered Society is entitled to expect that its decisions will be acknowledged and not disregarded in this way.’

The Disciplinary Sub Committee was made up of Mrs Irene Terry as Chairman, Mr Bill King (Vice Chairman), Mrs J Ziman, Mr W Young and Mr R Page.

The Coton de Tulear Club of the UK issued a statement last Tuesday saying, - ‘the committee welcomes the findings of the disciplinary hearing of The Kennel Club into the actions of Mr Richard Hallam of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire over the past three years.

‘It is regretted that so much public and Kennel Club expenditure has had to be incurred and hope particularly that this inappropriate use of public funds will also cease following the findings of the KC disciplinary hearing.

‘Despite these diversions The Coton de Tulear Club of the United Kingdom continues to go from strength to strength having just held its second Open Show since the KC took the breed off the Imported Breeds Register, staged several well received seminars and established a strong list of experienced judges of the breed.

Our members continue to show in classes at Championship and Open shows around the UK and have secured several successes in Europe including the World Show Junior Champion in the breed and CACIB and CACS wins in France.’