Greyhounds ‘euthanised’ at trial track

RESOLUTION: Well-known Hunter greyhound trainer Tom Pullman avoided a conviction after pleading guilty to a firearm offence in Cessnock Local Court on Wednesday.

IT took Greyhound Racing NSW nearly two-and-a-half years to refer information to police about dogs being shot and buried on the Keinbah Trial Track site, court documents state.

The only person ever charged in relation to allegations of a greyhound mass grave on the property, north of Cessnock, has escaped a conviction in Cessnock Local Court.

Well-known Hunter greyhound trainer Thomas Francis Pullman, 69, of Abermain, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to using an unauthorised firearm between 2010 and 2013 –the period he was the manager of the trial track.

A charge of possession of an unauthorised firearm was withdrawn.

Mr Pullman was interviewed by Greyhound Racing NSW investigator William Beekman in February, 2014, as part of the greyhound racing authority’s first investigation into “improper practices and a mass grave” at Keinbah Trial Track, according to a statement of police facts.

In July, 2016, information revealed during the investigation was referred to NSW Police, including that Mr Pullman had admitted to “possessing a firearm and euthanising injured greyhounds in the time he was managing the track”, court documents state.

During an interview with police in September, Mr Pullman said about 20 greyhounds had suffered “major injuries requiring euthanising” during his time as manager of the track.

“The accused made full admissions to taking these injured greyhounds to a location on the Keinbah Trail Track property where he shot them humanely, leading to an instant death,” according to a statement of police facts.

“He stated he only ever had the dogs welfare in mind when he was required to euthanise the injured animal.”

Mr Pullman said he got the gun –an old .22 calibre rifle –from his brother-in-law, but had since disposed of it.

He admitted he didn’t hold a firearm license at the time he was euthanising the dogs.A number of well-respected members of the greyhound industry provided references for Mr Pullman, tellingMagistrate RonMaiden his first priority was the welfare of his dogs.

Mr Maiden chose to deal withMr Pullman without proceeding to conviction.

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