Former New South Wales Blues State of Origin hero Brett Finch, who was part of the salary cap-cheating Melbourne Storm premiership-winning team in 2009, has been charged over alleged child abuse material offences.
The retired half, who played for four NRL clubs and amassing 270 first grade games, was granted bail as part of a police investigation into alleged child abuse materials shared over a phone service.
Finch was arrested at his home early on Tuesday morning.
According to reports, the Maitland-native’s phone was seized and was taken to Kogarah police station.
The 40-year-old was charged with ‘five counts of using a carriage service to transmit publish or promote abusive material’.
Strike Force Hank has seen eight men arrested, including Finch.
“We will allege that each of the men arrested by detectives over the past month expressed desires to engage in sexual activity with children, and in some cases, attempted to access child abuse material from other users of the service,” Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty said.
“Producing, disseminating or possessing child abuse material are serious offences, and detectives will continue to dismantle these types of operations, so children are free from harmful situations, exploitation, and abuse.”
Finch recently took to a podcast to reveal his substance abuse issues in retirement around 2016.
“I pretend to wake up, put my radio shirt on because I was working for 2GB Continuous Call at the time – I’ve already called Ray (Hadley) to tell him I was sick,” Finch told The Talk it Up podcast.
“Get in the car, go straight to me dealer’s house. My missus is from Melbourne, she’s not going to be listening to the radio. I’m thinking, ‘Finchy, you magnificent bastard!
“I’m just going to go get on it all day.”
In 2019, Finch was skewered for his performance on The Matty Johns Podcast where he looked under the influence of alledged illegal substances.
A few months later, travelers on a flight to Queensland spotted the retired playmaker on the plane to the Gold Coast.
“(He) couldn’t control his runny nose and (appeared) paranoid,” a customer told The Daily Telegraph.
“He wasn’t abusive. He just didn’t want to get off the plane, like he was scared about something.”
Finch will appear before Sutherland Local Court on January 11.