Talk of cocaine and getting footy players ‘bags’ has been found in the text messages of the pilot charged in the helicopter crash which killed an Outback Wrangler star.
Investigators searched the phone of helicopter pilot Sebastian Robinson and found texts sent between 2018 and 2021 referencing cocaine before the fatal flight in 2022 which saw Chris Wilson killed and Mr Robinson severely injured.
The messages found by Northern Territory police officer Jacob Fowler were sent across several chat forums and have been submitted as part of the prosecution brief of evidence to Darwin Local Court this week.
The court is hearing evidence against Outback Wrangler Matt Wright, 44, who is facing a string of charges relating to the fatal crash which involved a chopper operated by his company Helibrook.
Mr Wright is due in court on January 18 on one count of perverting the course of justice and again on June 18 for another six charges.
Investigators found texts in helicopter pilot Sebastian Robinson’s (right) phone from 2018 to 2021 referencing cocaine. In 2022 he flew a chopper that crashed, killing Outback Wrangler star Chris Wilson (left)
The text messages have been tendered as evidence in the trial against Outback Wrangler’s Matt Wright (pictured) who is facing seven charges relating to the fatal crash
In one of the newly surfaced messages obtained by the Daily Telegraph Mr Robinson is asked if he would be able to work a job in return for cocaine by an unknown person.
‘Hey sebby any chance of booking you out for a day nxt week tues to friday to do some cool s*** if your not too busy 12 hours and coke bonus,’ the message read.
Another message revealed a similar proposition as Mr Robinson hashed out the payment for a weekend he had spent with another person.
‘Thanks for the weekend cobba the fuel cost $1100 so I’ll transfer you another $300 for the coke and another hundred to chip in for the fuel,’ the message read.
Elsewhere he was asked if ‘anyone got bags’ to which he replied that he had cash before allegedly requesting that someone else collect him some cocaine.
Mr Robinson also allegedly acted as a drug mule for football players.
‘Footy players in town and want bags, RJ got any,’ he wrote.
Mr Robinson has not been charged with any crimes.
Multiple texts sent to and from chopper pilot Sebastian Robinson allegedly concern the procurement of cocaine
In one message Mr Robinson allegedly offers to pick up some cocaine for an unknown person during his own drug run
Mr Robinson was seriously injured in the February 28 helicopter crash and is not facing any charges relating to it
Deputy Chief Judge Tanya Fong Lim found there was enough evidence to place Mr Wright on trial for the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 15 years.
Mr Wright is also facing charges of destroying evidence, fabricating evidence, unlawfully entering a building, unlawfully entering a dwelling, making a false declaration and interfering with witnesses in a criminal investigation or court process by making threats/reprisals.
He told members of the media on Thursday that he is ‘hopeful’ that the charges he will face in June will be withdrawn once the first ‘charge is dealt with’.
Michael Burbidge and Neil Mellon have also been charged in relation to the investigation into the crash that killed Mr Wilson on February 28, 2022.
Mr Wilson had been dangling from a helicopter to collect crocodile eggs when the chopper crashed, killing him and seriously injuring Mr Robinson.
Mr Wright was committed to stand trial early next year as Burbidge and Mellon admitted to destroying evidence in the aftermath of the fatal crash. They are not charged in connection with causing the crash itself.
When Mr Wright finally left the courtroom on Thursday he barged through a team of reporters waiting outside, causing journalists and cameramen to stumble over handbags and backpacks set aside.
Wright didn’t utter a word as he jumped into a van waiting on the side of the road.
The hearing’s outcome sparked heated scenes outside court where A Current Affair reporter Steve Marshall was in the thick of the action.
Wright and helicopter pilot Burbidge ignored a barrage of questions from Marshall and other journalists as they barged though the media scrum with their wives.
‘Have you rolled on Matt Wright?’ Mr Marshall asked.
‘Did you fight the law and the law won?’
Another reporter asked: ‘You were meant to be upholding the law, why did you break it?’
Wright was reportedly later overheard calling journalists ‘f***ing maggots’ inside the courtroom, A Current Affair reported.
Former NT Senator Nigel Scullion (left) was embroiled in a fiery encounter with A Current Affair reporter Steve Marshall as he left court
Matt Wright was overheard calling journalists ‘f****ing maggots’ inside the courtroom
Mr Wilson was prominently featured on Mr Wright’s Wild Croc Territory TV show.
He was killed when the Robinson R44 helicopter carrying him from a sling line plummeted to the ground near the NT’s King River.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) found that the chopper was likely not refuelled at the fuel depot which caused its engine to stop mid-flight.
The ATSB’s report found that Helibrook’s CASA-approved safety management system was not being used to identify and manage operational hazards including those concerning human sling operations.
It was also noted that Mr Robinson’s exposure to cocaine in the days before the crash increased the likelihood of fatigue, depression and inattention, however there was insufficient evidence to determine if these effects occurred.
On the day of the crash Mr Wright was notified that one of his helicopters had crashed and that Mr Wilson had died as a result.
He flew to the scene of the crash with former police officer Neil Mellon and prominent Darwin publican and crocodile farmer Mick Burns, where they found other members of the egg-collecting crew including Michael Burbidge and Jock Purcell.
Mr Burbidge, who was facing four charges, pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and had his other charges withdrawn. He will be sentenced on February 29.
Mr Mellon also pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and will be sentenced March 1.
Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson (pictured) plunged to his death in a remote area of the Northern Territory
Matt Wright, Neil Mellon and Michael Burbidge have been charged in relation to the investigation into the helicopter crash, with the latter two pleading guilty to one charge each