Jailed league star Packer segregation for safety

CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2014
Russell Packer
Fairfax Australia
OUTSIDE COURT: Russell Packer arrives at court in Sydney in December for a hearing in the assault case.

Relevant offers

League

NRL shot clock gets opening first grade trial in Eels clash with Raiders Batley Bulldogs player kicks for touch, misses and loses game after gifting a try New Zealand Warriors partying with Ginuwine two days before Tigers thrashing All Blacks coach Steve Hansen feels for Warriors counterpart Andrew McFadden Canterbury Bulls halfback Tevin Arona inspired by son ahead of debut Benji Marshall says he and Wests captain Robbie Farah took pay cuts in 2012 Warriors' big signing Sam Tomkins was an NRL flop, says league great Peter Sterling Sam Moa keen to fill Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' big shoes for the Roosters One last hit out for New Zealand Warriors before pain of 2015 ends Canberra Raiders avoid NRL wooden spoon with hammering of Penrith Panthers

Former NZ Warriors and Kiwis prop Russell Packer was kept in segregation after being jailed in Australia over fears for his safety, his new lawyer says.

Packer gave evidence at his unsuccessful bail hearing at a Sydney court on Thursday that New South Wales Corrective Services staff were concerned he would be targeted by inmates because he was a high-profile NRL footballer.

"Russell gave evidence that he was segregated because corrective services were concerned that he was at risk of physical harm due to him being a well-known football player," Sydney barrister George Thomas told Sunday News.

"He was segregated for about two weeks when he first went in and has since been moved to another facility where he is no longer in segregation."

The 24-year-old father-of-two was jailed on January 6 for two years after pleading guilty to assaulting expat New Zealander Enoka Time in the Sydney CBD last November.

But Thomas indicated Packer may file an application seeking leave to withdraw the guilty plea to the charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Packer's appeal against the severity of the sentence is scheduled for February 11.

He was unsuccessful in his bail application despite offering to pay a $A150,000 (NZ$162,323) bond.

During the hearing he admitted long-term issues with alcohol.

The two-test Kiwi, who played 110 games for the Warriors before joining the Knights at the end of last season, faces an anxious wait to see if the two-year sentence is reduced.

If Packer serves 12 months he will be deported to New Zealand after his release - an obstacle to him resuming his NRL career.

The Newcastle Knights terminated their four-year-contract with Packer after he was jailed.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday News

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content