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Ex-AFL star jailed over drug plot

Written by on May 16, 2024

A former AFL champion’s two-year criminal case has ended in tears in a Melbourne courtroom as he was led from the room by two custody officers.

Ex-St Kilda player Sam Fisher, 41, was supported by his parents and partner as he returned before the County Court of Victoria on Thursday.

The South-Australian born AFL star was tearful and waved to his family as he was jailed for five years and four months on drug trafficking and drug possession charges.

The court was told the 13-year veteran of the game was arrested in 2022 after a “suspicious parcel” in Western Australia was found to contain $129,000 in cash sent by Perth man Julien Morvan, 35.

Police then intercepted a second large parcel addressed to Morvan containing 996 grams of methamphetamine and 82 grams of cocaine stashed inside a kitchen range hood.

On Morvan’s phone, police found text messages with Fisher organising the shipment — Fisher picked up the range hood from a Harvey Norman store and delivered it to Morvan’s father six days later.

A raid on Fisher’s home on May 18 the same year uncovered quantities of drugs including ketamine, LSD, methamphetamine, diazepam and steroids.

Fisher had been scheduled to face trial in early April, but pleaded guilty to all charges a week before the trial began after receiving a sentence indication from Judge Mullaly who found he served a “courier-type” role in the offending.

Fisher was at 21 drafted by St Kilda from West Adelaide in the 2003 AFL draft, and played 228 games for the Saints between 2004 and 2016. He retired due to injury at the end of the 2016 season.

At the sentence indication, Fisher’s barrister Dermot Dann KC said his client’s life had “spiralled out of control” after his retirement.

He told the court Fisher’s recreational drug use had “intensified” amid the Covid-19 pandemic and a failed property development.

“To his credit, and what makes this situation even more tragic, is he has devoted himself to his rehabilitation ever since,” he said.

Judge Mullaly agreed, saying his life post-sport had deteriorated quickly, with his mental heath degrading without his support network during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

“You acknowledge now you were fiercely addicted… in those circumstances you began to move in circles of those involved in drugs,” he said.

“I accept this was a well and truly dreadful and out of character episode in your life.”

After spending 48 days on remand, Judge Mullaly said Fisher had taken significant steps to rehabilitate himself, including spending months in an inpatient program and speaking publicly about his battles.

“You are now a long way from where you were in mid 2022,” he said.

The court was told Fisher had faced a sentence of up to life in prison, but Morvan’s “merciful” sentence in Western Australia and Fisher’s “lessor” role in the plot meant his jail term would be at the bottom end of those regularly imposed for the crimes.

At an earlier hearing, Judge Mullaly said the two-time best and fairest winner and all-Australian should be recognised for the effort to turn around his life.

“No matter how talented you are, drugs can take a hold of you and ruin your life; that’s the message he’s been imparting so others can avoid his path,” he said.

Morvan was jailed for six years in March 2023 after pleading guilty to similar charges in Western Australia.

Fisher will be eligible for parole after three years.

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