Willie Rioli has avoided a conviction and been placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond after facing the Local Court in Darwin on Wednesday.

The AFL star kicker pleaded guilty to possessing a schedule 2 dangerous drug of less than a trafficable quantity.

Rioli was charged after 25 grams of cannabis was found in his pants by a drug detection dog during routine screening operations at Darwin Airport in April.

Rioli’s lawyer, Mark Thomas, said the father-of-two had suffered a national humiliation after his case became public due to “an arsenal” of media reporting.

“Shame, loss, humiliation, grief. That’s how Mr Rioli feels,” Thomas said during sentencing submissions.

“He is truly ashamed and regretful for what has occurred.

“Your Honour has a trite and humble young man before you.”

Rioli’s legal team waited for signatures on some character references which delayed his case earlier on Wednesday and his lawyer asked for a fine but not a conviction, saying it may put his AFL career in jeopardy.

Although Rioli was supported by family at the trial, no West Coast Eagles representatives were present.

Thomas said Rioli wanted to issue a “heartfelt apology to the West Coast Eagles for this offence”.

“He knows he has let them down,” Thomas said.

Magistrate Michael Carey placed Rioli on a 12-month, $500 good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded.

The West Coast Eagles have not indicated whether Rioli will be returning to the AFL in August after his suspension is finished.

By Teisha Cloos