Sam Burgess will front a court to clear his name over intimidating father-in-law

Besieged ex-rugby league star Sam Burgess has launched an appeal after being found guilty of intimidating his father-in-law during a fiery verbal altercation.

Burgess, 32, was not in court on Monday morning as his lawyer Bryan Wrench told the Goulburn District Court that he would be fighting Burgess’s conviction over a heated argument at Mitchell Hooke’s Southern Highlands estate in October 2019.

Burgess was last month sentenced to a two-year community corrections order and ordered to undergo anger management by Magistrate Robert Rabbidge.

Mr Rabbidge also granted a two-year apprehended violence order preventing Burgess from going within 1km of Mr Hooke’s house.

Mr Wrench told the court that he had made written submissions on Burgess’s behalf.

The appeal will be held at Goulburn District Court next Monday, with Burgess to be represented by high profile barrister Phillip Boulten SC.

After he was found guilty of one count of intimidation in the Moss Vale Local Court last month, Burgess said he was “confused” by his conviction.

Mr Wrench previously told the court: “He hasn’t done this … he’s suffered a significant impact as a consequence of this.”

Sam Burgess leaves the Moss Vale Local Court after being found guilty of intimidation. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De MarchiSource:News Corp Australia

Mitchell Hooke was involved in a verbal stoush with Sam Burgess. Picture: John GraingerSource:News Corp Australia

Burgess had conceded that he swore at Mr Hooke and called the father of his ex-wife Phoebe Burgess a “piece of sh*”.

But he claimed it was the former chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia who was the aggressor.

His lawyers argued the allegations were part of a concerted effort to smear Burgess’s reputation and ruin his career amid an ugly marriage breakdown.

However, Mr Rabbidge accepted the evidence of Mr Hooke, Ms Burgess and her sister Harriet Hooke, who testified that she witnessed part of the altercation.

Mr Hooke told the court that Burgess was “wild” and “crazy” and that he feared he was going to be punched by the former South Sydney NRL premiership winner.

The Hooke family – Sarah (left), Harriet and Mitchell leave the Moss Vale Local Court. Picture: Jonathan NgSource:News Corp Australia

Sam Burgess and Phoebe Burgess during happier times. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Following a visit to the property in the afternoon of October 19, 2019, Mr Hooke told his son-in-law: “It’s OK, Sam … I can look after (his children) from here.”

The court was told that Burgess became aggressive and “came” at his father-in-law, saying: “You‘re a f***ing piece of sh*t”, and repeatedly said, “I’m going to get you.”

Mr Hooke told the court in evidence that he had “never felt fear like it” and his whole body “went cold”.

The court was also played a triple-0 call during which Ms Burgess could be heard saying: “Look I’m just a bit shaken up … my husband and I are going through a bit of a separation at the moment … He has threatened and abused my father.”

Meanwhile, Burgess has been charged by police after allegedly failing a roadside drugs test earlier in the month.

Burgess was charged with driving an unregistered car, with NSW Police also alleging he had never held an Australian licence.

When his BMW X5 was stopped on the Old Hume Highway at Braemar in the Southern Highlands, he is alleged to have failed a roadside drug test for cocaine.

He will appear in Moss Vale Local Court on May 4.

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