Image of Kennel Club logo

Appeals Tribunal 19 October 2015 Mr W Goodwin - v - The Kennel Club

The Appeals Tribunal met on 19 October to consider the appeal by Mr W Goodwin from the decision of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee dated 30 July 2015.

The decision of the Appeals Tribunal is set out below.


This appeal arose from the Disciplinary Sub-Committee decision of 30 July 2015 pursuant to Rule A11 in connection with an incident at Crufts 2015. 

The Disciplinary Sub-Committee found that Mr W Goodwin had behaved discreditably and prejudicially to the interests of the canine world, in that he had subjected Mr T Sainsbury and Mrs S Garside to threatening, intimidating approaches and verbal abuse on 8 March 2015 at Crufts 2015.

The papers previously before the Disciplinary Sub-Committee were presented to the Appeals Tribunal, together with the Notice of Appeal from Mr Goodwin and the Response on behalf of the Kennel Club. 

Mr Goodwin attended the appeal hearing with Counsel, Ms Camilla Whitehouse and Mr Dominic Lewis attended on behalf of the Kennel Club.

The Appeals Tribunal considered the Notice of Appeal and the Response and appreciated the attendance and the clarification given by the legal representatives at the hearing.

Appeal Grounds and Decision

Mr Goodwin appealed on four grounds:

  1. the decision was made in a procedurally unfair manner;
  2. the decision was made without reference to relevant factors;
  3. relevant new evidence;
  4. the penalty imposed was disproportionate.

These are prescribed legitimate grounds for appeal and the Appeal Tribunal's task was to consider the procedural concerns which were raised and also the level of the penalty imposed and whether this was disproportionate and/or had an excessive adverse effect on
Mr Goodwin.

It is understood that the incident at Crufts was very unfortunate and it must have caused considerable distress all round.

Ground 1: Decision made in a procedurally unfair manner

The Appeals Tribunal was not satisfied that the complaint that the procedure had been unfair was established. It was apparent to the Tribunal that the procedure had been flexible, that latitude had been given where appropriate and that there had been equal treatment for all parties.

Ground 2: Decision made with no reference to relevant factors

Submissions were made that the decision of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee had not been made with reference to relevant factors, particularly in relation to the timing of complaints and statements received, and the weight attached to various statements.   

The Appeals Tribunal was not satisfied that this ground of appeal was established.

Ground 3: Relevant New Evidence

Further character references were presented to the Appeals Tribunal which went to mitigation for Mr Goodwin.

The further statements produced provided support for existing issues which had been raised at the disciplinary hearing and the Tribunal did not consider that there was anything new that would significantly have affected the decisions already reached or necessitated a review or rehearing of such decisions.

The Appeals Tribunal was not satisfied that this ground of appeal was established.

Ground 4: The penalty was disproportionate

The Appeals Tribunal did not accept that the penalty imposed, a fine plus a suspension
for a limited period, was disproportionate.

The penalty reflected the respective role and degree of involvement by Mr Goodwin in the incident.

However, the Tribunal accepted that Mr Goodwin's inability to attend events was having an excessive adverse impact and causing substantial difficulty and therefore for that mitigating reason alone the Tribunal was prepared to commute the period for the disqualification on attending licensed events to six months from 30 July 2015.