Ex-AFL player Daniel Connors PRAISEED for completing four-month rehab and being allowed to return home to pregnant partner after car chase allegations
- Player 29 games for Richmond
- Charged with seven offences
- Released from rehab after four months
Former AFL villain Daniel Connors has successfully completed an intensive four-month program in rehab and is about to be released.
Connors, who played for Richmond between 2007 and 2012, was released on bail at the Arrow Health facility in Woodend in January after being arrested by police for an alleged gun chase by Melbourne at Christmas Eve.
Connors was not allowed to leave the facility and was given only a limited day off on weekends in March to see his family.
However, on Friday, Connors returned to Melbourne Magistrates Court where he successfully applied for his bail to be changed to allow him to return to live with his partner, who is expecting his first child, in Port Melbourne.
Magistrate Belinda Franjic congratulated Connors on completing the rehabilitation program and said he had done everything right. She also relaxed his bail conditions, giving him the green light to visit his parents in New South Wales.
Connors faces seven counts of misdemeanor including reckless endangering endangerment of death, use of a firearm as a prohibited person and auto theft
Connors played for the Richmond Tigers between 2007 and 2012. However, his off-field behavior led the club to terminate his contract in 2012.
Police allege Connors was out on bail on drug offenses when he joined three associates in a violent crime spree in the early hours of Dec. 24.
Connors was reportedly in the back seat of a stolen Toyota Rav4 as it chased a silver Volkswagen Passat through Moonee Ponds, Essendon and Coburg at around 7:20 am.
Another passenger is said to have shot at the VW during the wild chase.
Connors is also accused of visiting a Carlton apartment complex hours earlier, where CCTV footage shows him lifting his shirt to reveal a gun in his waistband.
Court documents show that he and other accomplices visited the building to talk about two victims.
In January, prosecutor Michael Roper told the court that while Connors is not charged with firing the gun, he was “part of a common cause” with his co-defendant.
Connors is charged with seven counts of misdemeanor in the Dec. 24 incident, including death-endangering reckless endangering conduct, use of a firearm as a prohibited person, and auto theft.
Although he only played in 29 top-flight games, Mr. Connors considered a talented player when he was selected in the 2006 draft.
Connors’ promising football career came to an abrupt end when he was sacked for his off-field antics, including a fight with a pub patron at the Shamrock Hotel in Echuca in 2016.
The court heard that Mr Connors was allegedly in the presence of three younger men with ‘very serious’ criminal records, and said police allege he assaulted one of the victims before the chase began in Footscray.
Detective Senior Constable Joe Halloran, of Victoria Police’s Gang Crime Squad, said police had not deduced a motive for the incident but suspected it to be criminal in nature.
Mr Connors’ heavily pregnant partner cried during the lengthy bail application and his parents agreed to raise $50,000 of their savings as bail.
Mr Connors’ mother told the court that the surety she and her husband had taken from their savings ‘wasn’t how they intended to spend their retirement’.
He will return to court on May 19.