Sir. Hopoate currently lives with his parents and partner.
“He’s very much under his father’s thumb – if he steps out of the queue, his father’s anger will be far greater than anything the court can impose,” James said.
“I doubt it,” Judge Jennifer Atkinson replied.
Sir. Hopoate and Mrs Beathe had had dinner at the Port Macquarie Club in December 2020 when he went to the play area and kept drinking.
Beathe turned to his partner after messages telling him it was time to go home were ignored and they started arguing, the agreed facts state.
At one point, Mr. Hopoate bent the victim’s key card and threw it on the ground.
“A security guard stepped in to try to calm the situation, but the accused spat at the victim with the spit hitting the victim and the security guard,” the papers state.
Sir. Hopoate was asked to leave. When he saw his partner being escorted by security guards, he walked “briskly” towards them and shouted, “What are they going to do? I want to bash them.”
Mrs Beathe was “seen screaming from the accused as he called for her”, and Mr Hopoate slapped her in the face with an open right palm.
“The strike was down with such force that it sent the victim to stumble backwards and caused her to fall to the ground some distance from where she had been hit,” the documents state.
Sir. Hopoate, taken on CCTV footage, allegedly “got into his car and hurried away”.
He was later stopped outside the local hospital where Mrs Beathe had been taken to be checked after he was seen “driving slowly past the entrance” in a white Holden SUV.
Sir. Hopoate was arrested for assault at home and allegedly returned a positive breath test. Police say his blood alcohol reading from an additional breath analysis test was 0.095.
The former Brisbane Broncos player was charged with two counts of domestic violence, one assault, two counts of intimidation with intent to cause physical or mental harm and one for each driving while his driving license was suspended and mid-range drink driving .
Sir. Hopoate will receive a 12-month intensive correction order in which he will abstain from alcohol and undertake 250 hours of community service. He will also be forced to pay $ 2,100 in fines for the driving offenses.
Judge Jennifer Atkinson said she took Hopoate’s early guilty plea into account in her sentencing.
She spoke to Mr Hopoate and said his behavior on the night of the incident was “most worrying”.
“Domestic violence is unacceptable in our society. We must always say that it is wrong, ”she said. “Similarly, behavior that sees you spit on people is, in my opinion, wrong … It’s disgusting to be spit on.”
She added that Hopoate’s violation was even more serious when he had beaten his partner while he was near a child.
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