RICHMOND premiership player Marlion Pickett has been warned he could face more prison time if found guilty over burglaries in which hundreds of thousands of dollars was allegedly stolen from safes.
West Australian police remanded Pickett in custody on Sunday - a day after he played in the Tigers' 15-point win over Fremantle at Optus Stadium - alleging he was involved in commercial burglaries between December and January.
The 31-year-old was granted bail in Perth Magistrates Court on Monday after appearing on 12 charges including four counts of aggravated burglary, three counts of stealing and three counts of criminal damage.
Appearing in the dock wearing a black sweatshirt, Pickett spoke only to confirm his name and was not required to enter pleas.
A police prosecutor told the court the alleged offending by Pickett and others involved a series of commercial burglaries resulting in the theft of more than $380,000 in Australian and foreign currencies from within safes.
One of the charges relates to the alleged stealing of $325,000 from a currency exchange in Perth's northern suburbs.
It's further alleged Pickett purchased tools and clothing that were used in the burglaries and that mobile phone triangulation data links him to one of the scenes.
Prosecutors opposed bail, saying there was a risk Pickett - who served a two-and-a-half year jail term for burglary offences before being recruited by Richmond as a mature-aged draftee - would reoffend if he was released.
But Pickett's lawyer David Manera said there was nothing to suggest his client was a flight risk and the prosecution case was circumstantial.
He said it rested largely on allegations deposits of $6000 and $9000 were made into Pickett's bank account by his co-offenders, and that a camper van rented in his name was driven interstate by the other men.
Mr Manera said Pickett had flown to Perth for the clash with the Dockers "in the knowledge that police wanted to speak to him" and had remained behind when his team flew home so he could meet with detectives.
The father-of-four was described as a paid mentor for Indigenous youth through the Korin Gamadji Institute and a leader among Richmond's First Nations players.
Magistrate Erin O'Donnell said the allegations were serious but she did not believe Pickett presented a significant flight risk.
She granted bail on the condition Pickett resides at his address in the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, reports weekly to a local police station, does not interact with his alleged co-offenders and provides a $50,000 personal surety.
The amounts involved in the alleged offending meant the case was likely to proceed to the District Court, the magistrate noted.
"If Mr Pickett were convicted of these offences it is highly likely, I would have thought, that he would receive a term of immediate imprisonment," she said.
Pickett is likely to be excused from appearing in person when the matter returns to court for a committal mention in August.
Pickett and his manager Anthony Van Der Wielen declined to comment outside court.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr Van Der Wielen said Pickett was entitled to the presumption of innocence.
"We understand and respect the public's interest in this matter but we also implore all to respect the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, and to allow the legal proceedings to follow their due course without prejudice," Mr Van Der Wielen said.
Pickett has played 70 games for the Tigers, having famously made his AFL debut in their 2019 premiership triumph.
The first VFL/AFL player in 67 years to debut in a Grand Final and the first since 1926 to win a flag, he won a second premiership with the Tigers in 2020.
Richmond released a statement on Sunday night, confirming their player had been charged.
"The club will continue to support Marlion and his family while these matters are dealt with," the club statement said.
"As this matter is now before the courts, the club will not be making any further comment."