Former Wigan Warriors man Brett Finch pleads guilty to sharing child abuse material
Ex-Wigan Warriors half-back Brett Finch faces jail in Australia after pleading guilty to sharing child abuse material via a sex hotline.
The 40-year-old admitted one count of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material.
Six other charges of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child abuse were withdrawn.
Finch told a Sydney court he’d only used the online platform on a couple of occasions, and was on drugs at the time.
“It is explainable to the position he was in at that stage, as opposed to the position he’s in now receiving ongoing treatment for his mental health,” said his lawyer, Paul McGirr.
"There'll be subjective material obtained in relation to my client's mental health and possible substance abuse problems.
"We just ask that everyone remember there are mental health issues in play, and we have to respect that at this stage."
McGirr also told Daily Mail Australia his client had been 'swept up' in a wider police investigation, which led to seven other men aged between 34 and 71 being arrested in raids.
"Brett Finch wasn't the focal point of the investigation and in that particular respect his offending was isolated," McGirr said.
"He doesn't know any of the co-accused and didn’t offend for the almost 12 months before he was arrested."
Finch, who represented New South Wales three times, played for Wigan between 2011-12, scoring 18 tries in 60 appearances.
He also played for Canberra, Sydney, Parramatta and Melbourne.
Finch remains on bail ahead of his next appearance at the District Court on September 16.
9News Sydney have reported he faces up to 15 years in prison.