NRL: Former star Dave Taylor pleads guilty to cocaine possession

Dave Taylor looks on during his tenure with the Titans. Photo / Getty Images
Dave Taylor looks on during his tenure with the Titans. Photo / Getty Images

Former Gold Coast Titans rugby league star Dave Taylor has been fined $1000 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

The ex-Maroons and Australia Test forward, now trying resurrect his NRL career with the Canberra Raiders, faced Southport District Court today and was charged with two counts of possessing the drug.

28-year-old Taylor was caught up in a Crime and Corruption Commission cocaine investigation which also nabbed Kiwi-born code-hopping star Karmichael Hunt and other Titans players.

The court heard Taylor was allegedly supplied the drug in August and September 2014 by former Sydney Rooster and accused cocaine kingpin John Touma, who is yet to face trial.

Crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread said the quantity of cocaine Taylor had in his possession was "clearly for personal use".

But Mr Whitbread said cocaine was a serious problem and possessing it carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Defence solicitor Campbell MacCallum said Taylor had co-operated with authorities and shown remorse with an early guilty plea.

Mr MacCallum said Taylor had also completed a drug and alcohol rehabilitation course called 'Back in Control'.

He said the stress of the charges and media coverage had caused Taylor's marriage to break down, his reputation had been badly damaged and he had lost 80 per cent of his earnings.

He said it was unclear whether the NRL would re-register Taylor to play next season.

Judge Katherine McGuinness told Taylor that not only was his behaviour illegal but it also occurred while he was contracted to a professional football club.

She said he was in the media spotlight and as a result had suffered greater damage than other people.

But Judge McGuinness said Taylor had set 'a very bad example' to children and young adults which was 'such a shame' given his extensive community work.

Taylor was fined $1000 but convictions were not recorded.

Outside court, Taylor said he hoped to restore his reputation and 'do good by the fans'.

Last month Taylor was offered a short-term trial contract by the Canberra Raiders after the club threw him a rugby league lifeline.

Taylor last played in the NRL in 2015 with the Titans, and had a stint in the English Super League with Catalans last season.

He is undergoing pre-season training with the Raiders before coach Ricky Stuart decides whether to offer him a longer-term deal.

"If David achieves his goals and is then offered a small playing fee for 2017 (then) he has made better choices for himself, his family and his friends," Stuart said last month.

Taylor pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing a dangerous drug, namely cocaine, in August and September of 2014.

Taylor's sentencing at Southport District Court on Wednesday comes after fellow former Gold Coast players Joe Vickery and Jamie Dowling were handed fines and community service orders earlier this year.

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