Damion Flower jailed for at least 17 years

Damion Flower (file image)
Fallen racing identity Damion Flower faces sentencing for cocaine smuggling. -AAP Image

Former multi-millionaire racehorse owner Damion Flower has been jailed for at least 17 years for smuggling significant amounts of pure cocaine into Australia.

Flower, 49, and Qantas baggage-handler To'Oto'O Mafiti, 53 were arrested in May 2019.

They later pleaded guilty to commercial drug importation and dealing with money believed to be the proceeds of crime greater than $100,000. 

Best-known for his stake in one of Australia's most in-demand stallions, Snitzel, and buying an inaugural slot in Australia's richest horse race, Flower relied on his knowledge of airports to import more than 200 kilograms of cocaine.

The former baggage handler used his connections at Sydney Airport to get bags of cocaine, weighing 19kg, through side doors after they were flown in on commercial flights from South Africa.

In sentencing the pair in the NSW District Court on Friday, Judge Sarah Huggett said the offending was "an extremely serious example" of drug importing which took place over a number of years.

She jailed Flower for 28 years with a non-parole period of 17 years.

Mafiti was jailed for 23 years with a non-parole period of 14 years.