Andrew O’Keefe breaks down in tears during emotional appearance for breach of court order
Struggling former TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe became emotional as he promised a magistrate he would “sincerely” try to abstain from drugs after suddenly pleading in court.
Police were called to a unit in Point Piper, Sydney’s eastern suburbs, at around 11.30pm on August 19 following reports that O’Keefe was at the home in breach of a court order.
The 51-year-old was taken to Waverley Police Station and charged with breaching an apprehended violence order prohibition restriction.
The next day, the Parramatta court denied him bail, with the case set for August 30.
But O’Keefe’s attorney, Sharon Ramsden, appeared in court on Friday for an unexpected citation in which she told magistrate Greg Grogin her client would plead guilty.
O’Keefe appeared in court at the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Center wearing his prison greens, with a cropped beard after six days in pretrial detention.
Her brother sat outside the public gallery as Ms Ramsden told the court an order was in place between O’Keefe and the woman who had lived in the Point Piper unit since June 2021.
She told the court that O’Keefe explained to police why he was at the property, with court documents revealing that he said he was there to collect his belongings.
“There was no contact between the parties and she returned to the property at 11:45 p.m. after a walk,” Ms Ramsden said.
Ms Ramsden asked the magistrate to consider sentencing O’Keefe to an order of parole without conviction.
Police prosecutor Michael Cleaver did not oppose the sentencing.
Magistrate Grogin spoke directly to O’Keefe, asking if the former TV presenter could refrain from taking medication that is not prescribed by his doctors.
“One thing I don’t do, I don’t try to make people fail… can you fulfill that obligation? » asked the magistrate.
O’Keefe replied, “Your Honor, I can guarantee it will be my sincere effort.”
The court was told there were no allegations of threat, harm or violence, nor any interaction between O’Keefe and the woman at the property.
“The police asked him why he was there…he said he was aware he shouldn’t be there but was collecting his things,” Mr Grogin told the court.
“The woman and her family were not present at the address, no one else was present…she arrived after a walk.”
Mr Grogin said the offense represented “the lower end” of the range of objective seriousness and the only aggravating factor was that he was out on bail for assault charges involving the same woman.
The assault case is partly heard in court and will return in November.
Mr. Grogin sentenced O’Keefe to parole without conviction, for which O’Keefe tearfully thanked the magistrate.
“Mr O’Keefe, on a personal level you have been through some difficult times,” the magistrate said.
“You’re going to have good days and bad days and you’re going to go back and forth, you have to comply with court orders… the clemency will not be extended forever.”
O’Keefe will be released from the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Center. His attorney and brother made no comment outside of court.