Damion Flower, jailed drug kingpin and racing tycoon, has made a daring move that could push the highest court in the country to reduce his almost three-decade prison sentence for importing drugs worth AU$70 million into Australia.
As reported by the Daily Telegraph, the legal representatives of Mr Flower have approached the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal with a notice of intention to appeal his 28-year imprisonment sentence that was imposed on the former racing tycoon in 2022, following his guilty plea to smuggling 228 kilograms of cocaine into the country. The lawsuit came before the court for the first time last week, with a registrar making orders for Damion Flower’s lawyers to start the provision of the necessary documents ahead of the formal hearing.
These included the grounds on which they would bring the appeal, along with some written submissions supporting the application.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the accused who eventually pleaded guilty to charges of illegally importing a massive quantity of a border-controlled drug is now appealing only against the severity of the sentence he received, as it includes a non-parole period of 17 years.
Mr Flower did not attend the preliminary court hearing last week and was not required to do so. The date for the formal hearing of his appeal has not been set yet, but reports say that it is likely to occur sometime in 2024.
Alcohol and Gambling Addictions Blamed on Mr Flower’s Poor Life Choices
This is not the first time the disgraced racing tycoon gets behind bars. Flower has already spent four years in prison after his shocking arrest in 2019 when he was unveiled as an important participant in the scheme to import illicit drugs through the Sydney Airport.
The pair was arrested on May 22nd, 2019 by a strike force involving officers from the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force, the NSW Police, and the federal Department of Home Affairs. The investigation found that he, alongside To’Oto’O Mafiti a baggage handler at the Sydney Airport, managed to smuggle a total of 228 kilograms of cocaine into the country from South Africa on 12 occasions in the three-year period from 2016 to 2019. Mafiti also pleaded guilty to charges of commercial drug importation.
At the time when the duo heard their sentence, the NSW District Court learned that each drug delivery came through a Qantas commercial flight and was collected by Mr Mafiti who did so after receiving some instructions from Mr Flower. Each importation contained approximately 19 kilograms of cocaine, or about 228 kilograms in total and a combined value of more than AU$70 million at the time.
At the time he heard his sentence, former racing tycoon Damion Flower blamed the poor life decision he made on his addiction to alcohol and gambling. As revealed at the court hearing, he became a professional gambler in 2000 and then emerged as a part-owner of Clangalang that won the 2003 AJC Australian Derby and Epsom Handicap. Flower later sold the horse in a multimillion-dollar deal that also allowed him to keep a share that eventually continues to bring him about AU$1 million a year, even though he is currently in prison.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.