Melbourne AFL fan apologises for ‘selfish and stupid’ border breach

One of the Melbourne AFL fans jailed for sneaking into Western Australia via Darwin to watch the grand final has apologised for he and his friend's "selfish and stupid decisions".

Melbourne socialite Hayden Burbank flew back to Victoria on Monday night after three months in WA's Hakea Prison. At the time of the breach, travel had been heavily restricted amid fears of COVID-19 cases spreading outside of Victoria.

In a brief statement to media waiting at the airport in Melbourne, he apologised to WA and Northern Territory residents for sneaking into the states with financial planning friend Mark Babbage to watch their team, the Melbourne Demons, claim their first premiership in 57 years.

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"I'd like to apologise to the healthcare workers Australia wide, the doctors and nurses who've put their lives on the line and worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic," he said.

"We are deeply sorry for our selfish and stupid decisions we made.

"Even though we were both double vaccinated before we left Melbourne, we'd both received a negative test result in Darwin before arriving in Perth, the time in jail made us realise and understand the seriousness of our offending,"

The die-hard Demons fans spent Christmas behind bars, locked up for three months after being convicted for bypassing WA's hard border to watch footy history.

Travel from Victoria to WA was banned at the time due to the spread of the coronavirus in Victoria.

The duo flew from Melbourne to Darwin on September 14, using fake vehicle rental and bank documents to pass as residents.

They then entered Perth as tourists on September 22, bypassing the hard border despite only spending eight days in the Northern Territory.

A photo showed them inside the change rooms of Optus Stadium after the match, partying with Demons players and potentially exposing fans in the 60,000-strong crowd.

Burbank, who thanked family and friends for their "unwavering support", had a special apology for the pair's friends in the health sector.

"We know how hard you worked and the sacrifices you've made throughout the pandemic and it's you we feel that we've let down the most with our actions," he said.

Burbank and Babbage pleaded guilty in October to charges of gaining by fraud and three charges of breaching COVID laws in WA.

They're due to settle outstanding charges in Darwin, linked to their entry into the NT, next year.

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