A man has been jailed for three years after conning trainer Henry Cecil and bloodstock agent Charles Gordon-Watson.

Michael Baker, from Maidstone, Kent, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on 15 September after pleading guilty to four offences of false representation. He also admitted attempting to dishonestly obtain property.

The court heard that in April 2005, Mr Baker persuaded Mr Cecil to buy a £45,000 racehorse on his behalf. But Mr Cecil never received any of the money, and incurred “substantial costs” for training and stabling the horse that he consequently sold at a loss of £16,000.

And while Mr Baker was on bail for this offence, in October 2007, he defrauded bloodstock agent Charles Gordon-Watson by claiming to have £10million to spend on racehorses.

Mr Gordon-Watson subsequently bought three mares for over £2m at Tattersalls in December 2007.

But neither Mr Gordon-Watson nor Tattersalls were paid by Mr Baker (news, 27 March).

Mr Baker’s defence argued that he suffered from a personality disorder, saying his actions were not for personal gain.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (25 September, ’08)