Warriors star Reece Walsh has escaped conviction after being arrested on the Gold Coast and charged with one count of possessing a prohibited substance last month.
The 19-year-old was arrested in Surfers Paradise on September 26 for disobeying a police officer’s order to move on. He was taken back to the station and found to be in possession of cocaine.
Walsh attended Southport Court on Monday morning and according to News Corp has been placed on a good behaviour bond and fined $400, however no conviction was recorded.
Shortly after the news of Walsh’s arrest emerged last month he and Warriors CEO Cameron George fronted the media via Zoom.
A teary Walsh apologised and took accountability for his actions.
“Last night I got myself into a bit of trouble,” he said.
“I didn’t move on. That led to me getting arrested and taken back to the police station. Once I got back to the police station I got searched and I was in possession of a small bag of cocaine – which I had some during the night.
“No-one else is involved in this. It is solely on me. I put my hand up – I should never have done it. It is a mistake I made.
“I want to say sorry to sponsors, fans, the Warriors.”
Southport Magistrates Court heard that Walsh swore at police and argued and pushed his friends away while they tried to escort him home.
According to an ABC report, Police prosecutor Chris Freeman told the court that after Walsh’s arrest the NRL star repeatedly said “I’m not under arrest.”
A reference from George and a report from Walsh’s psychiatrist were among the documents submitted by the teen fullback’s defence lawyer, Cory Cullen.
“He’s embarrassed and ashamed of his actions and that remorse was raw and genuine,” Cullen said in court.
Magistrate Ron Kilner acknowledged that Walsh had a promising career and hoped that this incident would act as a stern warning.
“It would be a pity to see that spoiled by you taking illicit substances and racking up some sort of criminal history,” he said.
“Hopefully this has been a timely warning and hopefully this is the last we see of it.
“If you accept the benefits of being a professional footballer, you’ve also got to accept the responsibilities.”
Walsh told the media outside the courthouse that he would repay the Warriors fans.
“I’m just really embarrassed and ashamed of what happened,” he said.
“I’m going to repay my family and friends, the club, the fans.
“I’ll work really hard to bounce back from this and make sure something like this never happens again.”
Walsh was sanctioned by the NRL earlier this month. He received a two-match suspension and a $5,000 fine.