Rising NRL star Reece Walsh has been slapped with a $400 fine and placed on a nine-month good behaviour bond after admitting possessing cocaine during an end-of-season night out on the Gold Coast.
The 19-year-old New Zealand Warriors fullback pleaded guilty on Monday to charges including possessing cocaine and contravening a move-on order at Surfers Paradise on September 25.
Walsh fronted media later that day to apologise to Warriors fans and sponsors, admitting he was carrying cocaine in a clipseal bag.
Walsh's lawyer Corey Cullen argued that it was one-off incident, his client was in a stable relationship with a young child, had no criminal history and had a promising career ahead of him.
He said Walsh had undergone counselling, been fined $5000 by the NRL and docked two matches from next season.
“It's very unlikely that this will repeat itself again,” Mr Cullen told Southport Magistrates Court on Monday.
Magistrate Ronald Kilner placed Walsh him on a $500 good behaviour bond for nine months and fined him $400.
“If you expect the benefits of being a talented footballer and being in the limelight that means you also need to accept the responsibilities,” he said.
“Hopefully this is a timely warning and hopefully this is the last we'll see of you.”
Prosecutor Chris Freeman said Walsh was drunk, disorderly, argumentative and swore at police who told him to move on Orchid Ave in Surfers Paradise on September 25.
“Throughout the interaction with police the defendant acted in a disorderly manner by swearing,” he told the court.
Walsh eventually moved off, but continued to walk in front of cars on the road and push his friends who were with him.
Later police saw Walsh standing on Orchid Ave again, less than 10 metres from where he had been issued with his original move-on notice.
When the officers tried to question him and he ignored them before starting to walk away, when he was arrested about 1am.
They took him to the Surfers Paradise police station where officers conducted a pat-down search and found a white clipseal bag in his front trouser pocket, which was thought to be cocaine.
The following day, during a tearful public apology Walsh admitted the bag contained cocaine.
Walsh started club-instigated drug and alcohol counselling the day after he was arrested and the NRL integrity unit also conducted an investigation.
Walsh won the RLPA's Rookie of the Year award but his arrest ruled him out of contention to claim this year's Dally M medal.Internet Explorer Channel Network