A former top-grade footballer accused of being present during a violent car chase has been directed to face court in person later this year.
Ex-Richmond Player Daniel Connors, 34, was arrested after an alleged high-speed chase through Melbourne on Christmas Eve during which police say shots were fired from a stolen car.
Wearing a dark suit, he returned before the Melbourne Magistrates‘ Court on Friday via video from his partner’s home, where he was directed to appear in person at a committal hearing in October.
He didn’t speak during the appearance, only giving a ‘thumbs up’ to confirm he understood what was happening.
Mr Connors was hit with firearm and car theft charges in January amid a police investigation into an alleged car chase through the inner suburbs of Melbourne on December 24.
Daniel Connors is accused of participating in a car chase on Christmas Eve. Picture: Instagram.
Police will allege he was in the rear of a Rav4 as it pursued a silver Volkswagen from Footscray, through Moonee Ponds and Essendon, before crashing in Pascoe Vale about 7.30am.
About 2am the same day, it’s alleged he attended an apartment where he lifted his shirt and revealed a firearm tucked into his waistband.
Mr Connors was ordered to attend a residential rehab program after facing court in January and was released from that obligation in April after doing “everything right”.
He appeared in court alongside three co-accused men, and it was revealed some parts of the police case, including forensic evidence, had not been handed over to defence lawyers.
The matter was set down for a contested committal hearing in October when Mr Connors’ lawyer Jordana Fayman will have a chance to question police before a magistrate decides if there’s enough evidence for the case to be sent to a higher court.
Magistrate Brett Sonnet issued a direction for all accused men to appear in person after the prosecutor suggested it could make it easier to play CCTV evidence.
Mr Connors was considered a gifted footballer when he was drafted in 2006, playing 29 games for the Tigers between 2007 and 2012.
He will next return to court on September 12.