Andrew O’Keefe warned he is running out of chances during latest court appearance

Aug 27, 2023
The 51-year-old appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday, August 25 via video link in his prison green, and entered a guilty plea. Source: Getty Images.

Andrew O’Keefe has been warned that he is running out of chances after the former television personality pleaded guilty to allegedly breaching the conditions of an apprehended violence order.

O’Keefe found himself back behind bars after he was reportedly arrested at a home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at approximately 11.30 pm on Saturday, August 19, and spent the night in jail.

It’s alleged that O’Keefe violated the terms of the order.

“Officers attended a unit on Longworth Avenue, Point Piper, following reports that a 51-year-old man was at the unit in breach of an Apprehended Violence Order,” NSW police said in a statement.

The 51-year-old appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday, August 25 via video link in his prison green, and entered a guilty plea.

O’Keefe’s lawyer, Sharon Ramsden, argued that although O’Keefe technically broke the order, he had received permission to gather his belongings.

Ramsden stated that there was no violence or threats involved in the situation, and the people who needed protection were not present at the time.

“There was no contact between the parties, and she returned to the property at 11.45pm having been on a walk,” Ramsden said.

Ramsden urged Magistrate Greg Grogin to contemplate imposing a conditional release order without a formal conviction for O’Keefe.

Addressing O’Keefe personally, Magistrate Grogin inquired whether he could refrain from using non-prescription drugs as per his doctors’ recommendations.

“I don’t try to set people up to fail,” Grogin said as he asked whether O’Keefe could fulfill the court’s orders.

“I can guarantee that will be my sincere endeavour,” O’Keefe replied.

Addressing O’Keefe, Grogin added: “You’re going to have good days and bad days, you’re going to go forward, and you’re going to go back. The leniency which has been shown to you will not be extended forever. Understood?”

“I understand, your Honour,” he replied.

O’Keefe was granted a conditional release order with no conviction recorded.

The warning comes during an already tumultuous time for the former media personality. Earlier this year, O’Keefe fronted court to face charges regarding an alleged altercation that took place in a Sydney apartment in 2022.

O’Keefe appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court for a two-day hearing in which he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

O’Keefe was arrested on Thursday, January 27, 2022 in relation to the incident and was later charged with two counts of ‘intentionally choking a person without consent’, three counts of ‘common assault’ and one count of ‘assault occasioning actual bodily harm’.

“A verbal argument ensued between the pair before the man allegedly assaulted the woman — grabbing her by the throat, pushing her to the ground and punching her,” a police statement said at the time.

“The man allegedly assaulted the woman a second time — punching and kicking her — before she left the unit.”

During the hearing Police prosecutor Michael Cleaver withdrew several intentional choking, common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm charges.

“The prosecution case relies significantly on one single civilian witness who has left the country,” Cleaver told the court at the time.

In April, O’Keefe faced court again after he was arrested at his home and charged with allegedly driving with an illicit drug present in his blood, as well as breaching his bail conditions.

He appeared in court on Tuesday, April 2 where his solicitor entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Outside court, O’Keefe told reporters that he was looking forward to contesting the allegations during a hearing later in the year.

When asked about his expectations for the hearing, O’Keefe claimed that “there are certain things that might affect the credibility of a saliva test or urine test.”

When pressed to elaborate on his concerns regarding the testing, O’Keefe said: “My particular reaction to the testing.”

If you are concerned about violence or misconduct impacting you or your loved ones, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service — 1800 737 732, Mensline Australia — 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia — 1300 364 277, BeyondBlue — 1300 224 636; Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467; Headspace — 1800 650 890; Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800; Lifeline Australia — 13 11 14, for confidential support, advice and referral that will help you explore your options.

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