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    Former television presenter Andrew O’Keefe has had a bail application refused for domestic violence charges, despite claiming he acted in self-defence.

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      Andrew O’Keefe Bail Application Refused Despite Self-Defence Claim

      Former television presenter Andrew O’Keefe has had a bail application refused for domestic violence charges, despite claiming he acted in self-defence.

      The court was told that he allegedly choked a woman who was forced to bite him on the arm to free herself.

      The former chair of the White Ribbon Foundation will remain behind bars while his case progresses.

      Andrew O’Keefe Charged with Choking

      Andrew O’Keefe was charged with two counts of intentionally choking a person without consent, three counts of common assault, and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

      The police facts sheet alleged that the former television host had choked, punched and kicked a 38-year-old woman at his apartment on Kent Street, Sydney. He is accused of grabbing woman by the throat, pushing her to the ground and punching her.

      A police spokesperson said, “A verbal argument ensued between the pair, before the man allegedly assaulted the woman.  The man allegedly assaulted the woman a second time – punching and kicking her – before she left the unit.”

      A report was made to police on Wednesday, 26 January 2022. Following this, Sydney City Police Area Command officers opened an investigation. Andrew O’Keefe was arrested the next day and charged.

      The 50-year-old was questioned at Day Street Police Station in the Sydney CBD.

      It was not in dispute that O’Keefe had suffered visible injuries on his arm. However, the prosecution case was that the complainant had bit him on the arm to escape the protracted assault.

      The prosecutor also noted that this was the third domestic violence assault Mr O’Keefe had been accused of in the past few years.

      Two charges were dismissed in 2021 as the result of a section 14 mental health application, and he was subject to bail conditions in relation to a further charge at the time of this alleged assault.

      Mr O’Keefe’s criminal lawyers argued that the woman came to Mr O’Keefe’s residence uninvited and that their client’s injuries were consistent with self-defence.

      It was also noted that the former charity ambassador had never been convicted of a criminal offence.

      Bail Application Refused

      The bail application proceeded at Central Local Court before Magistrate Robert Williams.

      In refusing bail, Magistrate Robert Williams accepted Mr O’Keefe’s mental health was a relevant factor. However, he said the “likelihood of the custodial sentence and the risk of further offending” persuaded him to refuse bail. He noted the previous Andrew O’Keefe

      Mr O’Keefe hung his head in the dock when the release application was refused.

      Andrew O’Keefe – Domestic Violence Ambassador

      Andrew O’Keefe was chair of domestic violence charity the White Ribbon Foundation when it was established in 2007.

      The charity went into liquidation in 2019 but was later relaunched. The former Channel Seven presenter is no longer an ambassador for the charity.

      In 2008, he was appointed to the inaugural meeting of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and Children.

      The former Weekend Sunrise host left Channel 7 in February 2021. His contract had expired in 2020 and there were no plans to renew it.

      Andrew O’Keefe was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2017 for “significant service to the broadcast media as a television presenter, and to social welfare and charitable organisations”.

      Assault Lawyers Sydney

      There are two main assault charges relating to domestic violence. Section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 sets out that common assault is an act whereby a person intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence.

      To establish a common assault charge, the prosecution must prove the following:

      1. You committed an act; and
      2. This act caused immediate and unlawful violence to the alleged victim, OR caused the alleged victim to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence; and
      3. You had the requisite intent (recklessness is sufficient)

      Secondly, Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (AOABH) as intentionally or recklessly causing another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence and Actual Bodily Harm results.

      If you believe you may have a defence to assault or are unsure, our assault solicitors can give you immediate advice on all of the possible defences open to you. Some defences to common assault include:

      1. Self-defence: Your actions were a reasonable response in the circumstances as you perceived them.
      2. No hostility: You did not have the intent to cause immediate and unlawful violence. This could be if your touching of the alleged victim was an accident or socially acceptable/necessary contact (eg. touching someone to get their attention).
      3. Consent: The alleged victim consented to the touching
      4. Duress: You were forced to commit the assault
      5. Necessity: Your actions were necessary in the circumstances

      There is a defence of ‘lawful correction’ if you hit your child to discipline them. However, your actions must be reasonable. Hitting your child lightly with minimal pain would likely fall into this defence. However, if your child suffers marks or bruising, this would likely not be considered reasonable.

      Hitting your child with an object, such as a wooden spoon may not be reasonable if it causes significant pain and/or any lasting marks. An experienced assault occasioning actual bodily harm lawyer will be able to advise you in greater detail.

      It is important to obtain advice from a specialist common assault lawyer who has successfully defended hundreds of these charges. You can view some recent assault cases here. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

      We have offices throughout the Sydney metropolitan area where you can speak to our Sydney CBD, Liverpool or Criminal Lawyers in Sydney. We can arrange a conference for you with a Law Society Accredited Specialist in assault offences.

      While jail is a possibility, only 6% of offenders are sentenced to full-time imprisonment. More significantly, the overwhelming majority of offenders received convictions for this offence. The rate of convictions increases for domestic violence common assault.

      If this is your first offence, you will generally be dealt with more leniently by the Court. A list of 10728 first offence common assault sentencing cases in the Local Court suggests that you will be far more likely to receive a Section 10 dismissal if you have no prior record. However, there are still a large amount of individuals who are convicted despite it being their first offence.

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