- Hollands avoided conviction after pleading guilty
- Star was caught with cocaine in a casino bathroom
- Hollands recently signed for Carlton
A rising AFL star and recent Carlton recruit has admitted possessing cocaine which was found in his wallet in the bathroom of a Queensland casino just a month before he signed with the top-flight club.
Elijah Benjamin Hollands avoided conviction after pleading guilty to a single charge of possession of a dangerous drug at Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Instead, he was ordered to be on good behavior for two months and participate in a drug diversion program.
In court, 21-year-old Hollands told waiting media he had made a “mistake” for which he felt “extreme remorse.”
“It not only impacts me, but it impacts my family,” he said.
“I would like to thank Carlton Football Club and the Gold Coast Suns for their continued support over the last few weeks.”
Elijah Hollands (pictured outside Southport Magistrates Court) has pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine
To avoid conviction, the star was ordered to complete two months of good behavior and participate in a drug diversion program
The court was told security at the Star Casino in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast found Hollands’ wallet in one of the toilets at 9.29pm on September 3.
In a pocket of the wallet was a small clip-lock bag containing less than one gram of cocaine.
Hollands’ wallet was returned to him, but police confiscated the drug.
A day later he went to Broadbeach police station and admitted the cocaine was for his personal use.
Hollands, a top-10 2020 draft pick, was traded from the Gold Coast Suns to the Blues on October 18.
His lawyer, Darren Mahoney, said Holland’s mother was ill at the time, which may have influenced his client’s mindset at the time.
“Sometimes a young man with otherwise exemplary character, a good family and a bright future does something stupid,” Mr Mahoney told the court.
“The practical reality is that he will suffer more than this court dictates – in the community… that is inevitable.”
In a pocket of the young star’s wallet was a sealed bag containing less than a gram of cocaine
References from the Suns’ chief executive and his manager were presented to the court.
Judge Mark Bamberry said it appeared to be a “moment of weakness” for the young man but said he was otherwise a good candidate for the drug diversion program.
A two-month recognition order was imposed on Hollands, with no conviction resulting.
He was also ordered to attend a drug assessment and education session next month.
Earlier this month, the Suns confirmed that the AFL’s Integrity Unit had launched its own investigation into Hollands’ conduct when he was first charged.
“All players receive full education on the AFL Illegal Drugs Policy and are aware of the behaviors and standards expected of them as AFL players,” the club said in a statement.
The 2020 top 10 draft pick was traded to the Blues by the Gold Coast Suns on October 18th
Hollands told waiting media he made a “mistake” that he “extremely regrets.”
Carlton themselves also confirmed that they were informed of the pending legal proceedings against Hollands.
“An informed decision was then made to proceed with recruitment and the club will now provide Hollands with the necessary support,” a Carlton spokesman said on October 19.
“He will begin preparatory training after the planned resumption in November.”
Earlier this month, Blues list manager Nick Austin said He was keen to recruit Hollands after the club lost midfielder Paddy Dow.
Mr Dow had requested a trade to St Kilda.
“Elijah is a contract player and Gold Coast still has a lot to work through, they have a new coach and things like that,” Mr Austin said.