Suspended sentences for horse theft pair

  • Two men have been given suspended jail sentences at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday, June 11, one for stealing a racehorse and the other for perverting the course of justice.

    30-year old Liam Cornford of Eastbourne, Sussex, wept and put his head in his hands when he was sentenced for stealing former Goodwood winner Dr Cool and selling him for £400 while he was on loan to him. He had denied the charge.

    Cornford’s partner 24-year old Christopher Lazaros, also from Eastbourne, had been found guilty of colluding with Cornford in trying to cover up the crime.

    When the offence was uncovered Lazaros asked another man, William Rich, to make a false statement to the police.

    Rich told the court Lazaros had asked him to lie and the pair had attempted to bribe him.

    Judge Michael Addison accused Cornford and Lazaros of telling a “pack of lies” and wasting “days of crown court time”.

    Dr Cool was one of two horses lent to Cornford and Lazaros by Pam and Brian Tetley, who retrain thoroughbreds at Norley Farm, Cranleigh, Surrey.

    David Povall, prosecuting said: “This is a case primarily of theft by taking the horse on loan and whilst on loan selling it without permission and without telling the owner of the horse and obtaining the proceeds themselves.”

    Dr Cool, who retired in 2005, had been trained by Epsom’s Jon Akehurst and was known as ‘king of the handicaps’.

    Cornford tried to persuade the jury that Dr Cool was a gift from Mrs Tetley and said he was forced to sell the horse due to mounting bills.

    Both Cornford and Lazaros were jailed for six months, suspended for two years, given 120 hours community service and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

    Dr Cool has subsequently been recovered.

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