Get InQueensland in your inbox Subscribe

Rising NRL star 'ashamed and embarrassed' over Gold Coast cocaine bust


Rising NRL star Reece Walsh says he’s “embarrassed and ashamed” after being fined and placed on a good behaviour bond for drug and public disorder offences committed during a night out on the Gold Coast.

Print article

The 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.

The 19-year-old was fined $400 and placed on a $500 nine-month good behaviour bond after a short hearing in Southport Magistrates Court.

Walsh, who fronted the media hours after his arrest to apologise for his behaviour, again apologised outside court.

“I’m just really embarrassed and ashamed of what happened,” he told reporters.

“I’m going repay my family, friends, the club, the fans.

“I’m going to put all this stuff behind me, I’m going to work really hard to bounce back from this.”

Prosecutor Chris Freeman told the court that Walsh had been drunk, disorderly, argumentative and sworn repeatedly at police who told him to move on Orchid Ave in Surfers Paradise on September 25.

Walsh was led away by friends, but he continued to act in a disorderly manner, Mr Freeman said, walking in front of cars on the road and push his friends.

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.

The officers tried to question him and he ignored them before starting to walk away, when he was arrested about 1am.

Police took him to the local police station where they found a clipseal bag in his front trouser pocket containing a white powder.

Later that day, during his tearful public apology, Walsh admitted it was cocaine in the bag.

Freeman said the incidents occurred in the Safe Night Out Precinct and a strong deterrent was needed.

“All too often police are having to deal with young people who are not cooperative while they’re trying to do their duty,” he told the court.

Walsh’s lawyer Corey Cullen argued that it was one-off incident for his client, who 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 the court.

Magistrate Ronald Kilner placed Walsh 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.”

Walsh won the Rugby League Players Association’s Rookie of the Year award but his arrest ruled him out of contention to claim this year’s Dally M medal.

More News stories

Loading next article