CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Brett Finch of the Storm passes the ball during the round 21 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Melbourne Storm at Canberra Stadium on August 4, 2013 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

Disgraced former NRL star Brett Finch has today been handed a two-year sentence to be served ‘in the community' after pleading guilty to one count of using a carriage service to make available child abuse material, per 9 News.

Finch has effectively avoided prison time, with his two-year ‘sentence' containing supervision and mental health treatment conditions, as well as random drug testing.

Finch was arrested in his Sans Souci home nearly 12 months ago following a prolonged police investigation into the distribution of child abuse material online.

The former premiership winner and Origin representative admitted to sending sexually-charged messages about young boys on a phone chat service, but blamed the actions on his drug addiction, denying any sexual attraction to children.

Investigators determined Finch left seven voice messages on the service, each time providing a physical description of himself before sharing his desire to commit extremely perverse acts.

The transcripts of those messages have been deemed unfit to print due to their nature.

Finch claimed that he was only using the gay chat service FastMeet because it was somewhere he could obtain drugs to maintain his increasingly problematic habits, with Finch claiming he was using up to 25 grams of cocaine a week.

While impossible to verify, character references – including the one offered by former St George Illawarra Dragons chair Craig Young on a Red V letterhead – may have had a role to play in the determination of a community sentence as opposed to incarceration.

Finch played 270 NRL games during his career, with stints at four different clubs. He retired in 2013.