Former Manly and Parramatta player Justin Horo has narrowly avoided a criminal conviction after he was charged with cocaine possession, per The McIvor Times.

Horo must not commit any further offences for the next 12 months in order to avoid conviction for the drug-based charges and must be ready to attend court if and when called upon.

Horo pleaded guilty to the drug charges which allowed him to avoid conviction and was given a conditional release order for 12 months when he appeared in court on Monday.

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The 34-year-old was caught waiting in line for the toilet at Golden Sheaf Hotel on March 20 when he was seen by a police officer with a rolled up $100 note in his hands waiting to enter a cubicle.

When asked to empty his pockets it was discovered that Horo was in possession of a small amount of cocaine and another rolled up bank note.

The court was told Horo was using the cocaine in a bid to “sober himself up”.

Magistrate Michael Allen said while the leaking of case information to media was poor, it didn’t make the charges any less serious.

Embed from Getty Images “I find it extraordinary that a matter such as this has made its way to a newspaper in the way that it has,” he said.

“I do not find it in any way in the public interest, particularly before it comes before a court.

“It is sadly prevalent in our community and a reflection on the decadence that is influencing the streets of this city,” he said.