5 Mar 2015

Karmichael Hunt pleads guilty to drugs charges

3:58 pm on 5 March 2015

Queensland Reds player Karmichael Hunt has pleaded guilty to four charges of cocaine possession.

Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt Photo: AAP / Dave Hunt

Hunt - a New Zealand-born rugby union convert - had been served with a notice to appear in court by Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in February in the drugs scandal which rocked Queensland sport.

In response to the four charges of possession of cocaine - downgraded from supply charges - Hunt responded to the Magistrate: "Guilty, your honour."

The police prosecutor said Hunt had purchased cocaine on four separate occasions between September and October last year, totalling 12.5 grams.

Defence lawyer Alistair McDougall said Hunt had made "very poor choices that he'll be paying for for the rest of his life", adding his client had incurred "enormous economic loss" from his actions.

Mr McDougall said Hunt had clearly shown remorse in pleading guilty early, saying the incident stemmed from a "misguided post-season celebration that went on for a month."

He said Hunt wanted to "own" his problem and asked for an appropriate fine, saying it had been a "massive wake-up call."

The drugs case against Gold Coast Titans players Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling has been adjourned until 8 May.

Falloon and Dowling have had their bail extended, although their argument for an earlier court date was rejected.

Falloon, 27, faces four counts of supply while Dowling, 24, faces seven charges of possessing a dangerous drug and two counts of supply.

The CCC is not alleging the players were involved in the syndicate or trafficking of drugs, but they will allege the players contacted the syndicate for the supply of drugs.

Hunt is due to make a statement after his court hearing, while the Reds are also expected to issue a statement this afternoon.

Reds coach Richard Graham spoke to the media at Ballymore this morning, expressing his hope that there is a quick resolution to the matter.

"I'm obviously hopeful ... that it is resolved today so we can move forward," he said.

Players will not return to the playing field this weekend

Current Titans players Greg Bird, Dave Taylor and Kalifa Faifai Loa will front court on Monday, along with former Titans Joe Vickery and Ashley Harrison.

The CCC has issued an arrest warrant for former Titan Steve Michaels, who is currently playing in England's Super League competition.

Titans coach Neil Henry has expressed his desire for the five players who have been stood down to return to first team duties after their initial court appearance.

A decision on whether the players will be allowed back into the fold is not likely until after Monday's appearances meaning Falloon and Dowling are unlikely to have any part to play against the Tigers.

Reds coach Richard Graham has already ruled out making Hunt available for selection in their Super Rugby derby with the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday night.

It will be the third straight match the code-hopper has missed since the scandal broke and no official decision has been made on what will happen to Hunt following Thursday's court appearance.


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