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Allegation of intimidation increases Nikolic's woes

Date

Patrick Bartley

In court ... Jockey Danny Nikolic.

In court ... Jockey Danny Nikolic. Photo: Pat Scala

DISGRACED jockey Danny Nikolic was accused on Thursday of contempt of court after it was alleged he intimidated and abused another Racing Victoria steward during a break in his appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing.

Barrister Philip Dunn, QC, for Racing Victoria, accused Nikolic of being ''seriously out of control'', claiming he made intimidating and provocative comments to a witness waiting outside the appeal hearing.

The embattled rider may also face more charges from Racing Victoria authorities at the conclusion of the appeal hearing over the alleged threats to steward Wade Hadley. Nikolic is also to appear before the court in the next few weeks on assault charges.

He is appealing against a two-year disqualification for allegedly threatening Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey at Seymour this year.

Dunn said the banned jockey sat next to Hadley, who had previously given evidence against him, and allegedly said: ''You're going up in the world, aren't you?''

Having received no response, Nikolic then allegedly said: ''I think you're going up in the world, let's see where you end up.''

He then allegedly called Hadley a ''f---ing fine specimen of a human being''.

Later in the hearing the jockey denied the allegations and claimed that Hadley had made the initial contact and he had merely responded.

Nikolic claimed that Hadley told him: ''Things are not going well in there for you.''

''That is an outright and disgusting lie,'' Dunn said. He added Nikolic twice made ''gun sounds'' as he walked past Hadley during a break in proceedings. Dunn then said to Nikolic that he had ''a real problem, a mental problem''.

Nikolic rejected the suggestion.

The tribunal is understood to be seeking security footage from outside the hearing venue after the alleged intimidation threats by Nikolic to Hadley.

In evidence to the tribunal, Hadley said he was shocked and felt threatened by Nikolic.

He told Judge Michael Macnamara he tried to ignore Nikolic during the encounter, to which Nikolic allegedly responded: ''You can't even make f---ing eye contact.''

Hadley also said that Nikolic had made insulting comments to him after he gave evidence at a previous session of the hearing. He told the hearing that as he left the witness box, Nikolic had leant forward in his chair and said, ''You're a disgrace'', as he walked past.

At the initial Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing Nikolic rejected allegations that he had used other abusive language towards Bailey at Seymour. But he admitted to the hearing on Wednesday he had used the language alleged, although he denied making the threats that led to his disqualification.

The hearing has been adjourned to December 11 when closing submissions will be made.

with AAP

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