Former TV star Andrew O'Keefe has been charged with assault and breaching an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) just two months after having similar charges dismissed in court.
The 49-year-old was arrested by police in an apartment on Kent Street in Sydney's CBD.
Police alleged that they received a report of domestic violence incident earlier in the week.
The ex-Deal or No Deal host was granted bail and spoke to reporters at Parramatta Local Court after his release.
Andrew O'Keefe Breach AVO
Andrew O'Keefe was charged with breach AVO, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and resisting an officer in execution of duty.
Police released a statement alleging that Mr O'Keefe "was involved in a domestic-related incident with a woman at a home in Point Piper on the evening of Wednesday, September 8".
The former television star made a successful bail application at Parramatta Bail Court. After he was released he spoke to media outlets and said, "Well I'm just getting back from last time. two strikes and you're out in this country".
"I spent a night in hospital, I spent a night in jail, despite an agreement with police that would not happen. There is a dispute about facts, a significant dispute about the facts (of what happened on Wednesday)."
He will appear at Parramatta Local Court again.
Previous Andrew O'Keefe Assault Charge
On 25 June 2021, Andrew O'Keefe had two domestic violence assault charges dismissed on mental health grounds.
The alleged facts associated with those charges were that Mr O'Keefe had slapped, kicked and spit on his girlfriend, Dr Orly Lavee. The Court heard that she believed the ex-TV star had been carrying an ice pipe at a party they had attended earlier.
He appeared at Waverley Local Court where the charges were dismissed pursuant to a mental health application.
A third assault charge relating to an incident at Kangaroo Valley earlier in 2021 was withdrawn by police prosecutors.
Psychiatrist reports were tendered which showed that Mr O'Keefe had suffered from bipolar and substance abuse disorders and was a 'hyper-manic' state during the incidents with his girlfriend.
In granting the mental health application, Magistrate Ross Hudson found Mr O'Keefe had been in a 'hyper-manic' bipolar state at the time of the offending, was remorseful and contrite.
He had also attended dozens of psychological and psychiatric appointments after initially being bail refused and spending time in custody.
The psychiatric evidence showed that Mr O'Keefe's family had an extensive history of mood disorders. His Johnny O'Keefe - a former celebrity musician - had spent two months of almost every year at the Ryde Psychiatric hospital.
An apprehended violence order was left in place between the former couple. The most recent incident formed the basis for the alleged breach of that AVO.
When Daily Mail Australia asked Mr O'Keefe outside court if his television career was over, he said: 'I'm not sure if I'm over or if TV's over.'
Section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) sets out that the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond reasonable doubt in order to establish a Breach AVO charge:
- One or more of the AVO conditions were breached
- You intended to breach those conditions
If the above elements cannot be proved, you will be able to beat an AVO. You will be found not guilty if any one of the following defences to breach AVO applies to your case:
- Self defence: Your actions were to defend yourself or another person and those actions were reasonable in the circumstances.
- Intent: The prosecution cannot prove you intended to breach the AVO
- Duress: You were forced to breach the AVO
- Necessity: Your actions were necessary in the circumstances
In today's context, domestic violence charges are very common. There have been a number of recent examples of experienced criminal lawyers showing how to get an AVO dropped. You can view some of those cases by clicking here.
We have offices throughout the Sydney metropolitan area where you can speak to Sydney, Liverpool and Parramatta Criminal Lawyers. We can arrange a conference for you with a Law Society Accredited Specialist in AVOs. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email email@example.com.
The maximum penalty for breaching an AVO is 2 years prison and/or a fine of $5,500.
However, what is more significant is that the Court is bound to impose a jail sentence where the AVO conditions are breached by an offence of violence against the "person in need of protection".
Statistics reveal the range of likely sentences you may receive. Analysing 2,351 sentencing cases in the Local Court from the last 5 years, less than 10% of people received no conviction for breach AVO. The remaining offenders all received convictions and almost 15% of offenders were sentenced to full-time imprisonment.
More people are sentenced to jail than receive Section 10 dismissals. This can be explained by looking at Section 14(4) of the Act, which sets out that a person who is convicted of breaching an AVO must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment if the act constituting the offence was an act of violence.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.