Sam Burgess, right, with wife Phoebe and her father Mitch Hooke.
Sam Burgess, right, with wife Phoebe and her father Mitch Hooke.

Burgess pleads not guilty in father-in-law intimidation case

RETIRED rugby league champion Sam Burgess has formally pleaded not guilty to intimidation as police seek a restraining order against him on behalf of his estranged wife's father.

The ex-Rabbitohs skipper was slapped with an interim apprehended domestic violence order and charged with intimidation following an argument with Mitchell Hooke at the 63-year-old's Bowral home last month.

Burgess, who celebrated his 31st birthday over the weekend, was not required to face Moss Vale Local Court on Wednesday.

His lawyer, Bryan Wrench, entered a not guilty plea on his client's behalf.

Burgess won't face a hearing until June 26, 2020.

"He wishes to fight this matter," Mr Wrench said.

Burgess celebrated his 31st birthday with his children over the weekend.
Burgess celebrated his 31st birthday with his children over the weekend.

The prosecution wanted further time to submit the brief of evidence as police seek a "significant amount" of further material that "goes towards the fears held", the court was told.

An interim order currently bans the former England captain from going within 1km of Mr Hooke's Southern Highlands home or assaulting, stalking or harassing anyone in a domestic relationship with him.

The prosecution also applied for bail conditions to be imposed on Burgess, but this was refused by Magistrate Ian Cheetham.

Mr Wrench said Burgess had no criminal record, had not approached Mr Hooke since the October incident and should be "treated like any other person".

"We do not want to contact the complainant and we have not done so," he said.

Burgess is accused of intimidating Mr Hooke during a pre-organised visit to the former Minerals Council boss's $2 million Glenquarry property around 4pm on October 19 to see his kids Poppy, 2, and Billy, 1.

It is understood Burgess agreed to leave Mr Hooke's home when asked, with the pair allegedly continuing the verbal spat as he left. Police were later called.

Sam Burgess’ lawyer Bryan Wrench. Picture: Adam Yip
Sam Burgess’ lawyer Bryan Wrench. Picture: Adam Yip

Mr Wrench previously told the court  that Mr Hooke's allegations were lies, insisting Burgess had made no threats and wasn't at all violent during the incident.

The scandal caps a tough year for the former South Sydney forward, who was forced into early retirement due to a shoulder injury amid a bitterly public divorce.

Burgess split from his estranged wife, Phoebe, for a second time in October and moved out of the family's $3.8 million Maroubra home, where she and their children have remained.

Since then the father of two has been spotted partying on boats in Mexico and also been linked to American waitress Oak Schuetz and Married At First Sight's Jessika Power. He denies romance rumours with both women.

Sam Burgess with American waitress Oak Schuetz.
Sam Burgess with American waitress Oak Schuetz.

Burgess was embroiled in a Rabbitohs sexting scandal last year that reportedly sparked his marriage breakdown.

While his wife of four years has maintained a dignified silence during the saga, the prolific Instagrammer recently posted a baking photo with the caption: "Only tarts in my house: Ricotta!!"

This month, The Daily Telegraph revealed Burgess had received a multimillion-dollar long-term job offer from the Rabbitohs in an administration role.

Sam Burgess at Coogee Beach.
Sam Burgess at Coogee Beach.

 

Happier times …
Happier times …
Partying on a yacht in Mexico.
Partying on a yacht in Mexico.
News Corp Australia


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