Richmond AFL rookie Sydney Stack is set to spend Christmas alone behind bars as a result of his alleged breach of Western Australia’s strict quarantine laws.
Stack, who was arrested on Saturday night and refused bail, is in isolation at Hakea Prison.
His case briefly returned to the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday and was heard in his absence, with his lawyer saying she had been unable to speak to the 20-year-old and therefore could not progress the matter any further.
His case was adjourned to January 6 for a further mention by videolink.
The court earlier heard that prisoners at Hakea who are alleged to have breached quarantine are required to serve a fresh 14 days isolation upon entering the remand facility.
Player manager Paul Peos said Stack, who is mourning the recent death of his grandfather, was “very distressed and very upset” during a brief phone conversation.
“I’m very worried about his short-term welfare,” Peos told reporters outside court.
“It’s been very difficult to have communications. I’ve been very disappointed. But we’ll continue to try and engage with him as best we can.”
Stack was charged with failing to comply with a direction after allegedly being found out on the town in Northbridge during his compulsory self-isolation period, having entered WA from Victoria on a flight that stopped over in South Australia.
WA’s border with SA remains closed after a recent coronavirus scare.
Stack was granted approval to enter WA on compassionate grounds on December 10 for his grandfather’s funeral.
He was issued with a direction to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days at a nominated address in Northam, about 97km from Perth.
But he was allegedly found by police at 1.10am on Saturday in the party district of Northbridge.
It was also alleged he had been staying at a residence in Belmont and not at his nominated quarantine address.
The alleged breach caps off a torrid year for Stack, who was overlooked in the 2018 national draft because of concerns about off-field issues but has since played 26 AFL games for Richmond.
He was handed a 10-match AFL ban and banished from Queensland in September for an incident outside of a Gold Coast strip club.
Stack and Tigers teammate Callum Coleman-Jones broke the AFL’s return-to-play protocols during that night out, which ended up with them being involved in a fight at about 3.30am. Richmond were subsequently fined $100,000.
Peos said he was in constant communication with Richmond, adding that Stack understood the consequences of his actions and accepted his career was on the line.
“The football’s a little bit further ahead,” he said.
“We’ve got to deal with the current matters from now up until January 6.”
A spokesperson for WA’s Department of Justice said prisoners at Hakea did not have their quarantine periods reset unless they returned a positive COVID-19 test or were subject to an emergency order imposed by WA Police.
“Prisoners subject to quarantine are isolated in their cells, where they can receive meals, medical and other services, provided with the appropriate protections in place,” he said.
“They cannot receive social visits but can make telephone calls and are allowed out of their cells to exercise on their own for up to two hours a day.
“Quarantined prisoners can make video-link court appearances, done in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.”