Troubled TV star Andrew O’Keefe dodges court with guilty plea on latest charges

Dec 07, 2023
Andrew O'Keefe's latest court appearance comes during an already tumultuous time for the former media personality. Source: Dan Himbrechts /AAP PHOTOS

Former television personality Andrew O’Keefe has avoided another day in court after pleading guilty to a drug-driving charge

After undergoing a random roadside breath test earlier this year, police alleged that O’Keefe tested positive for methamphetamine. He was then taken to Waverley Police Station for a secondary oral fluid test, and his driver’s licence was suspended.

In April, O’Keefe 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.

Appearing in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Courton on Tuesday, December 5, O’Keefe’s lawyer Sharon Ramsden entered a guilty plea on his behalf, telling the court her client has made a “sincere endeavour” to abstain from drugs after being granted bail in August after breaching the conditions of his earlier release on other charges.

“That treatment is ongoing by both his treating psychologist and psychiatrist,” Ramsden said.

Magistrate Miranda Moody pointed out that it wasn’t O’Keefe’s current driving that drew police attention, but his track record on the road didn’t work in his favor.

“He has clearly had some issues with illicit drug use,” she said.

O’Keefe was granted a conditional release order, essentially a good behaviour bond, for 12 months after it was found there was no evidence of “live offending” and that he had successfully been abstaining from drugs.

Outside of court, O’Keefe told reporters it was a “very sensible” decision but noted the differing test results were “a very unusual outcome”.

“Such are the exigencies of the law that I had to plead guilty anyway because otherwise it might be delayed for another six months potentially,” he said.

O’Keefe’s latest court appearance comes during an already tumultuous time for the former media personality.

Earlier this year, he was warned he was 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.

O’Keefe 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 argued that although O’Keefe technically broke the order, he had received permission to gather his belongings and 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 at the time.

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.

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.

-with AAP

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