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Former NRL star Sam Burgess has been convicted of intimidating his ex-father-in-law during a heated argument over his children

The disagreement started when 32-year-old Burgess was at home in Mitchell Hooke’s NSW Southern Highlands in October 2019 and learned that his visiting hours had expired

The two have previously brought different versions of incidents before the Moss Vale Local Court in which Burgess pleaded not guilty of intimidation and an alternate charge of joint attacks

Both agreed that the former South Sydney captain had said the visiting problem was “inhuman” before things escalated

Magistrate Robert Rabbidge noted that Mr. Hooke was a “formidable, credible, and enduring” witness who provided “clear and concise” evidence

Found Burgess guilty of intimidation, he took up a conviction and placed him on a two-year bond for good behavior

Prosecutors alleged that Burgess had gotten very close to Mr Hooke and threatened, “I’ll get you”

Burgess accused Mr Hooke of yelling, berating, and threatening him by saying, “I’ll ruin your career if it’s the last thing I do”

In court last month, Burgess admitted he exchanged swear words and called Mr. Hooke “a bloody piece of shit.”

Mr Rabbidge even said Burgess said he had destroyed the “peaceful environment” created for the children

He noted that Burgess had admitted that during the argument, Mr Hooke said “You were going to hit a 64-year-old man”

“Certainly such words could only be uttered after a close confrontational encounter,” said the judge

He said while no one but the young children witnessed what had happened in the house, he noticed evidence of Mr. Hooke’s behavior after the incident

“What is undeniable in this case is the shock and distress that Mr. Hooke brought to his daughters and the police”

Mr Hooke previously described Burgess’ “wild eyes”, said he was “scared” and stated that he was “never so threatened in my life”

Mr Hooke’s daughter, Harriet Hooke, told the court her father was “white, pale and scared” after the confrontation, describing Burgess as red-faced, aggressive and with enlarged pupils

Burgess admitted that he drank four schooner beers before visiting a pub, but denied being affected by alcohol

Today’s ruling was postponed after the court heard that Mr. Hooke wrote an email to the judge pointing out an old family connection and raising possible conflict

But Mr Rabbidge said he lived in the area for 23 years, was well acquainted with thousands of people, and the judicial officers “don’t live in a vacuum”

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Sam Burgess

World News – AU – Ex-Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess has been found guilty of intimidation following a dispute over his children

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-05/nrl-sam-burgess-found-guilty-of-intimidation-in-domestic-dispute/13124438