Ex-employee accused of stealing $19k released from jail
A FORMER Ipswich rugby league player accused of robbing $19,000 from a hotel he used to work at will be released from jail under strict conditions.
Anthony Stuart Fowler, 41, and another man have been accused of storming into a Goodna hotel while armed, accessing the safe and stealing cash and Bundaberg rum in March this year.
Police believe Mr Fowler, who is also a boxer, was involved because he had a motive; he had been sacked from the same hotel about a month before the incident.
Mr Fowler is also known by the nickname Chook.
Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Wednesday that most of the police case was based on text message evidence, which allegedly showed Mr Fowler planning the armed robbery.
Justice David Boddice said there were also allegations that Mr Fowler had sent threatening text messages to the hotel's owner after he was sacked.
The court heard the robbery occurred while Mr Fowler was on a suspended sentence for an assault charge.
The court heard Mr Fowler had once exclaimed he would "do anything" to avoid going to jail but Justice Boddice said he was satisfied strict conditions could be put in place on Mr Fowler to stop him re-offending.
He said the robbery charges were serious and it was a matter of "considerable concern" that he was on a suspended sentence at the time.
"However at the present stage they are only allegations and … there is no allegation prior to this that the applicant has committed any offences whilst on bail or in breach of court orders."
Mr Fowler was released on bail with conditions that he is at home between 9pm and 4.45am every day and that he report to police every weekday.
- APN NEWSDESK