One day, the king of Australian television games, Andrew O’Keefe, shouted at the judge, claiming he was “not interested in justice”, and he was threatened with contempt of court after he was again denied bail.
The 50-year-old looked visibly upset and frustrated when he clashed with Sydney Central Local Court on Wednesday afternoon via the AVL from the Don de Loas Correctional Center.
In January, Mr O’Keefe was charged with six after police claimed he grabbed the woman by the throat, hit her and pushed her to the ground.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges, including intentionally strangling a person without consent, three counts of ordinary assault and one count of assault with grievous bodily harm.
A few weeks after his arrest, police filed another charge after finding Mr. O’Keefe with 1.5 grams of marijuana. He pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of a banned drug and has not yet been convicted.
Through his lawyers, Mr O’Keefe had previously stated that he had acted in self-defense and had himself been the victim of an attack. The applicant was not charged with an offense.
Mr O’Keefe has been in custody since his arrest, and in March in the NSW Supreme Court the NSW Supreme Court lost his bail application.
Attorney Sharon Ramsden on Wednesday filed a new bail application, arguing that there are special circumstances when a long-term rehabilitation center in Port Stevens has a bed.
She also claimed that Mr O’Keefe had been provided with more evidence indicating the applicant’s “no harm”.
“I do not intend to retell everything and waste your time,” Ms Ramsden told the court.
“There were still short services that support my client.”
During the nearly two-hour bail hearing, Mr O’Keefe was audibly disappointed with what was said in court and said he could not see the trial on his AVL screen.
The police prosecutor objected to the bail request and said that there was no “new information” other than some photos of the applicant.
“There are no new circumstances in what was filed in court … he was in the rehabilitation center nine times,” he said.
Mr O’Keefe told the prosecutor to refute the allegations, as Magistrate Daniel Rice warned him that he would “go back, speaking out”.
“It’s just not true, Your Lord,” Mr. O’Keefe said, raising his voice.
“I’m just getting the truth.”
Mr Reyes said the significant difference between previous bail applications was that it was now possible to apply to a long-term rehabilitation center.
He told the court he was “concerned” that Mr O’Keefe’s alleged crimes continued when he was already on bail.
A 50-year-old man erupted in anger: “The alleged conduct, Your Lord, has not been confirmed.”
“You are trying to sabotage your own statement,” the magistrate replied.
Mr O’Keefe continued to interrupt and shook his head in frustration as Mr Reyes told the court about the 50-year-old’s mental health and drug problems.
Despite Ms. Ramsden’s repeated requests to remain silent and say something only when spoken to, Mr. O’Keefe continued.
Mr Rice told the court that Mr O’Keefe had “significant attitude problems”.
“It’s not a problem of attitude, it’s a technical problem,” Mr. O’Keefe replied.
The magistrate warned that Mr. O’Keefe was bordering on contempt of court.
“I have dealt with many defendants, some of them psychotic and not as difficult with them as with you. Someone with legal qualifications and 10 warnings should know how to deal with this, ”Mr Reiss said.
“You’re a lawyer, there are two sides to every story, you need to know that.”
Mr Reyes said he was going to bail Mr O’Keefe so he could go to a rehab center until he was sure of his attitude in court.
This angered Mr. O’Keefe.
“I would be inclined to bet if it weren’t for Mr. O’Keefe’s prolonged behavior in court,” Mr Reiss said.
“Someone who has the qualification of a lawyer and has been in court many times has had several warnings.
“I am presented with a person who cannot be trusted to follow instructions.”
Mr Reiss refused to release him on bail, saying he was unwilling to allow “unacceptable risk” of allowing Mr O’Keefe to remain in custody.
Mr. O’Keefe gathered his papers and stood up before saying, “The transcript will say that I did not argue, I tried to help you, Your Lord.”
“You’re not interested in justice,” Mr. O’Keefe continued before breaking out of the AVL.
Mr Reyes told Ms Rumsden that Mr O’Keefe would have to apologize to the court, otherwise he would be found to be contemptuous.
“There will be a reference to contempt if he does not refuse and apologize for his behavior,” he said.
“He will have to give it up, otherwise a lawsuit will be filed.”
Mr O’Keefe will return to court for a hearing in June.
After a successful 17-year partnership, Channel 7 dumped Mr O’Keefe after a series of public scandals and personal clashes that reportedly affected the production of the hit game show The Chase Australia.
Before launching The Chase, Mr. O’Keefe spoke on Weekend Sunrise, Deal or No Deal, The Rich List and other special prime-time programs, including the Logie Awards.
He has been awarded the Order of Australia for his work in television and charity, including as a former ambassador for the White Ribbon Domestic Violence Organization.