GREYHOUND Racing NSW is poised to release the findings of the sixth – and what is expected to be the final – investigation into allegations of a mass greyhound grave near Cessnock.
The Newcastle Herald has learned that Ray Murrihy, the former chief steward of Racing NSW, has chaired an inquiry into the gravesite unearthed at the Keinbah Trial Track in mid-2015.
A Greyhound Racing NSW spokesperson said his findings would be made public next week.
The sport’s governing body commissioned the Murrihy inquiry last year in response to an explosive investigation by leading Sydney barrister Clive Steirn, SC.
Mr Steirn found that at least 99 greyhounds were killed and buried in a mass grave at the track because they were “underperforming” and “therefore of no further use”.
He found it was "highly probable" that most of the dogs were killed between 2009 and 2013 with a blow to the head, from either a gunshot or a blunt instrument.
During that period, the track was owned by Kayla Spliet, a former Greyhound Racing NSW employee, and managed by her father Tom Pullman.
Both have had their licenses suspended on an interim basis pending the outcome of Mr Murrihy’s inquiry, along with Mr Pullman’s wife Helen Pullman.
She said the family would not be commenting on the matter when contacted by the Herald on Tuesday.
Mr Murrihy was instructed to examine whether any person identified in Mr Steirn’s evidence had breached Greyhound Racing NSW rules. It’s understood Mr Murrihy’s report is unlikely to result in any criminal charges, because the Steirn report was referred to police.
It led to a charge of using an unauthorized firearm being laid against Mr Pullman. He pleaded guilty but escaped without conviction when the matter went before Cessnock Local Court.
The Steirn report was a major turning point in the Keinbah saga, coming after four earlier investigations all found persistent rumours of a gravesite at the property were unfounded.
It also vindicated Natina Howard, who purchased the property in 2013, after the alleged killings took place. She took matters into her own hands when authorities refused to excavate the suspected burial site, unearthing dozens of bones.
“We’ve been through hell and back,” she said.
Ms Howard expressed confidence in the latest investigation, but stressed she wanted to see those responsible for the killings held accountable, as well as those who “failed to do their job” in investigating the matter.
She is also seeking to recoup the cost of removing asbestos and contaminated waste from the gravesite.
“We bought this property in good faith and if we knew any of this we wouldn’t of purchased the property,” she said.