NRL star Sam Burgess has admitted he and his ex-father-in-law “failed” his two young children during a heated domestic dispute in October 2019.
- Burgess said he didn’t trust Mr Hooke with his children
- The former NRL star says Mr Hooke threatened to ruin is career
- Burgess told the court he had four beers before the argument
The former Rabbitohs player and coach gave evidence at Moss Vale Local Court today about the incident, during which he claims his children were “left alone”.
A disagreement broke out when his ex-wife’s father, Mitchell Hooke, asked Burgess to leave Mr Hooke’s Southern Highlands property.
Burgess told the court the verbal argument began when his agreed visitation time with the children was up.
He recalled becoming angry when Mr Hooke said “time’s up, let’s go”.
“I told Mitch I thought this was inhumane,” he said.
“I didn’t want to leave my children with Mitch … I don’t trust him.”
He claims Mr Hooke left the children unattended when he followed Burgess outside as he attempted to leave.
“They were then alone inside the house,” he said.
His ex-wife Phoebe Burgess was on her way home at the time.
Burgess told the court the argument heated up when Mr Hooke threatened him in saying: “I’m going to ruin your career if it’s the last thing I do.”
“He shouted at me … he said f**k you Sam … I said f**k you Mitch, you’re a piece of shit,” Burgess said.
“He said, ‘Sam, nobody loves you. Your own family doesn’t love you. We love you and you’re throwing it all away’.”
The court heard Mr Hooke’s other daughter, Harriet, intervened and took her father inside.
The prosecution told the court two police officers noted Mr Hooke was “visibly shaken” following the incident.
Burgess admitted he drank four schooners of beer at a local pub before he went to visit his children.
He claimed he was not affected by alcohol and considered himself “sober”.
Sam Burgess in court over argument
Mr Hooke denied suggestions he was the aggressor in the argument by raising infidelity in the marriage and threatening to “destroy” Burgess.
Burgess has pleaded not guilty to charges of intimidation and common assault.
A decision is expected to be handed down on February 5.
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