Almost a year had passed since Brett Finch recorded a series of explicit voice messages fantasising about sex with teenage boys when detectives came knocking on his front door.
The retired NRL star was at the San Souci duplex in Sydney’s south he shared with his wife and young child and was still wearing his leopard print pyjama shorts.
It was shortly before 7am on December 14 last year and officers from the NSW Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad had come to ask Finch about his use of the FastMeet gay chat line.
Finch was one of eight men aged between 34 and 71 arrested that morning in raids across Sydney, Coffs Harbour on the state’s north coast and Shoal Bay in the Hunter Region.
NRL star Brett Finch was still wearing his leopard print pyjama shorts when detectives knocked on the door of his home at San Souci in Sydney’s south last year to ask him about sexually explicit messages he had left on a gay chat line.
Finch admitted using the sex chat service FastMeet but said any messages he left about wanting to have physical encounters with teen boys was ‘just s*** talk’. He is pictured reporting on bail
According to a statement of facts tendered in court this week, 40-year-old Finch made admissions about his use of FastMeet upon his arrest, after he had been cautioned.
Finch told police he was ‘on drugs’ when he was recorded fantasising about having violent sex with teenagers and an imaginary 12-year-old boy.
He had not initiated any sexual conversation about children and said any messages he recorded about wanting to have physical encounters with teen boys was ‘just s*** talk’.
‘He knew what FastMeet was,’ the statement of facts said. ‘He may have spoken about children but not from him starting the conversation.
‘It might have been when he was “twisted”.
‘He no longer uses FastMeet and only used it a couple of times.
‘He was on drugs when he was talking about that stuff. He has never done anything since. If he has done it, it was just s*** talk.’
Finch, pictured with wife Elli, was caught up in a wider investigation conducted under the banner of Strike Force Hank by officers from the NSW Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad
Finch had been caught up in a wider investigation into users of FastMeet which was conducted under the banner of Strike Force Hank.
Police became aware of Finch’s use of the service after Victorian detectives arrested a convicted paedophile who had been using the service to exchange child abuse material with other men.
FastMeet operates on multiple platforms including a website and mobile phone app. A live chat room allows users to leave sexually explicit voice messages.
The service informs users as they enter the chat room: ‘For your safety, this service is monitored and may be recorded.’
‘All live connections and messages are handled through our system, so your personal details are always kept private,’ the FastMeet website states.
‘We have monitors regularly checking the system to ensure that all users comply with our chatroom guidelines. Please note for the protection of users calls may be recorded.’
Finch left such messages on FastMeet six times between November 2020 and January 2021.
The content of those messages was revealed when the retired footballer pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court to a single charge of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material.
He had faced six other counts of using a carriage service to transmit, publish or promote child abuse material but those charges were withdrawn.
In the first voicemail Finch called himself Brad, said he was married, 35 and of ‘masculine build’. He then described his genitals.
Finch played 330 first grade games for the Raiders, Roosters, Eels and Storm in the NRL and Wigan in the UK Super League. He is pictured being arrested at his Sans Souci home in 2021
Finch was called up to play State of Origin for NSW in 2006 and famously kicked the match-winning field goal in game one of the series. He is pictured after kicking that goal
‘Yeah how you going mate?’ he said in the call. ‘Love to have a hot chat, talk about real kinky, having a threesome with a nice 16 year old boy… ‘
The rest of what he said is too graphic to publish.
In the next message, Finch said: ‘Yeah hey mate, married, 39, good looking guy, smooth muscular bod, 6 foot, 85 kilos…. ‘
‘Oh, f*** you sound so sexy. I’d love to be having a threesome right now with you and a sexy 16 year old boy [unpublishable]. Making him love every second.’
In another, Finch again said he was married, masculine and would ‘love to have a chat with you about threesomes’.
He then fantasised about group sex with a 12-year-old boy.
Later messages refer to ‘rugby boys’, a ‘nice little 16 year old surfer boy’ and more imaginary male youths. He did not ever directly speak to any other men or even indirectly to any children.
Finch, whose wife Elli is the daughter of Australian Football Hall of Famer and Carlton great Wayne ‘The Dominator’ Johnston, has spoken publicly about his past problems with alcohol and drugs.
His solicitor Paul McGirr told Daily Mail Australia that submissions would be made about Finch’s circumstances and state of mind before his sentencing in the District Court.
‘There’ll be subjective material obtained in relation to my client’s mental health and possible substance abuse problems,’ Mr McGirr said.
Mr McGirr said Finch had been ‘swept up’ in the wider police investigation sparked by the arrest of the Victorian paedophile.
NRL star Brett Finch told police he was ‘on drugs’ when he was recorded fantasising about having violent sex with teenagers including an imaginary 12-year-old boy. He is pictured with wife Elli Johnston
‘Brett Finch wasn’t the focal point of the investigation and in that particular respect his offending was isolated,’ Mr 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 was supported in court by his longtime manager Steve Gillis, played 330 first grade games for the Raiders, Roosters, Eels and Storm in the NRL and Wigan in the UK Super League.
He was called up to play State of Origin for NSW during an injury crisis in 2006 and famously kicked the match-winning field goal in game one of the series.
Finch won a premiership with Storm in 2009 but that title was stripped due to salary cap violations.
His father Robert played 118 first grade games for St George where he won two premierships (1977 and 1979) and later became director of referees for the NRL then executive manager of football operations for the Dragons.
After retirement from league Brett worked in commentary for 2GB, Nine and Fox Sports but eventually lost all those jobs. He will appear in the District Court on September 16.