A FORMER jockey was yesterday jailed for 20 years for the stabbing murder of Wodonga father of three Adam Kristen “Snowy” Fielding.
He was also sentenced to four years for severely wounding Fielding’s friend, Amanda Lee.
After 30 cans of beer on the day of the first 2010 AFL grand final, Michael Anthony Crocker inflicted the fatal injuries.
Justice Lex Lasry said the case joined a long list of tragedies where knives and alcohol have had fatal consequences.
At 54, Crocker will be at least 70 by the time he leaves prison, with his sentence carrying 16 years non-parole.
He received the maximum custodial sentence of 20 years for the murder of Mr Fielding, four years for intentionally causing serious injury to Ms Lee, with two years already served on remand.
Outside the Supreme Court at Wodonga yesterday afternoon, his surviving victim
said she was happy with the result.
“It was a great outcome,” Ms Lee said.
“It doesn’t bring back the life you’ve lost but some justice has been done today.”
The train of events that sparked the September 24
tragedy began with a text
message from Crocker to Ms Lee demanding she repay $200.
Mr Fielding went to Crocker’s house close to midnight to speak to him and Ms Lee followed.
The pair were about to leave when Crocker came out of his house and, without warning, stabbed both of them with a serrated knife.
While Justice Lasry accepted the violent outburst was out of character and not premeditated, he said Crocker should have known the pair had posed no threat.
The court was told Crocker battled a heroin addiction and weight issues during his up-and-down career as a jockey, and he was suspended for a year in 1985 for not allowing a horse to run on its merits.
Crocker, who has become unit billet and gardener while behind bars, wrote to his victims saying since he’d been in jail he had “thought long and hard about his actions”.
“Adam was a loving father of three children, not a day goes by that I don’t think about them,” he wrote.
“But I believe it was an aberration in my life ... It was a mistake that caused so much suffering including to myself.
“When my punishment is over I want to prove myself as a better man.”