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Brett Finch’s wife Elli Johnston speaks out over the NRL star’s child abuse material conviction

Brett Finch’s wife speaks out over the ‘extremely traumatic’ ordeal her family has faced after disgraced footy star was convicted of sharing child abuse material and making ‘depraved’ phone calls about sex with boys as young as 12 on a gay chat line

  • Brett Finch pleaded guilty to one count of sharing child sexual abuse material
  • He avoided jail but was sentenced to a $1,000 two-year good behaviour bond
  • His wife Elli Johnston, mother of their daughter Mackenzie, plans to stand by him

The wife of Brett Finch, the disgraced ex-NRL star convicted of sharing ‘depraved’ child sex abuse material online amid a crippling cocaine addiction, has sensationally broken her silence.

Elli Johnston said in a statement made after Finch narrowly escaped jail last month that she would stand by her husband.  But on Thursday she revealed the couple, who have a three-year-old daughter, are now taking some ‘time out’ to heal after the worst 12-months of their lives.

‘It’s been an extremely traumatic situation for myself, Mackenzie and Brett. And now (we) need time to heal individually and as a family,’ Ms Johnston told the Daily Telegraph. 

Elli Johnston revealed the couple who have a three-year-old daughter, are now taking some ‘time out’ to ‘heal after the ‘worst 12-months of their lives’

Finch, 41, was handed a two year good behaviour bond and must obey strict probation conditions and see a psychologist for a year. He is pictured arriving at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney in October

Finch, 41, was handed a two year good behaviour bond and must obey strict probation conditions and see a psychologist for a year. He is pictured arriving at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney in October

Ms Johnston, the daughter of Australian Football Hall of Famer and Carlton AFL great Wayne Johnston, met Finch in 2013 and married him in 2018.

While she has posted tributes to her daughter’s resilience since Finch was charged, Ms Johnston hasn’t shared a single picture or video of her husband on social media since his arrest.

Finch, who played 270 NRL games in a 14-year career, is understood to now live off Centrelink payments after being knocked back on an estimated 300 job applications.

It is understood he rarely leaves his southern Sydney home. 

Ms Johnston (pictured with Fitch) released a statement describing her husband's situation as 'traumatic' for them both and their young daughter

Ms Johnston (pictured with Fitch) released a statement describing her husband’s situation as ‘traumatic’ for them both and their young daughter

Finch and Ms Johnston married in 2018 after being together for five years before that

Finch and Ms Johnston married in 2018 after being together for five years before that

The former halfback was arrested in December 2021 and charged with using a carriage service to publish or promote child abuse after officers intercepted his ‘twisted’ conversations in an web chat room called FastMeet.

Finch was snared in a wider investigation conducted under the banner of Strike Force Hank by officers from the NSW Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad.

Judge Phillip Mahony sentenced Finch to a $1,000 two-year good behaviour bond in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on November 23.

Finch had been under the influence of drugs when he left a series of ‘twisted’ messages on a gay chat line describing a desire to perform sex acts on boys as young as 12.

In court Finch admitted feeling disgust at himself for making the calls and said his only intention had been to obtain cocaine as his drug problem ‘spiralled out of control’. 

Judge Mahony described Finch’s actions as ‘highly depraved’ but accepted it had more to do with his chronic cocaine addiction than any genuine sexual interest in children. 

Finch (pictured reporting for bail) 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'

Finch (pictured reporting for bail) 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’

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, 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 no criminal record, had given his time freely to junior football coaching and charity work and had low prospects of reoffending.

‘I accept that he is genuinely remorseful for his offending conduct,’ Judge Mahony said, noting the ex footballer acted alone while on drug-fuelled binges.

The NSW District Court heard when Finch’s online offending occurred he was consuming as much as 25 grams of cocaine per week, which is considered dangerously high usage.

Finch has spoken publicly about his past problems with alcohol and drugs.

He had once been in demand as a paid public speaker and had freely given his time to charities but had now ‘lost everything’.

‘I understand why no one wants to come near me,’ Finch said.

‘I’ve got no one else to blame but myself… it’s hurt so many other people and that’s what I’m sorry for.’

Psychologist Chris Lennings told the court Finch’s offending was not sexually motivated, but that it was important the ex-footballer was subjected to drug tests.

‘In my assessment he does not present as having a sexual deviance,’ Dr Lennings said.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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