The court heard the former NRL star had four beers at a pub before telling his former father-in-law he was going to get him.
Mr Burgess is fighting one charge each of intimidation and assault, after an alleged altercation with Mitchell Hooke, Ms Burgess’ father, on October 19 last year. Mr Burgess has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The phone call made by Ms Burgess to police after the alleged altercation was played in court, with the ex-wife stating he had done the same to her on a previous occasion.
“It’s Sam Burgess, so it can’t be made public but I just need to report it ’cause he’s still in the area and he’s really angry,” she told the officer in the phone call. “He’s done this to me … he’s done this to me.”
Both Ms Burgess and Mr Hooke appeared in the witness box on Monday and explained how Mr Burgess had an arranged two-hour visit from 2pm to 4pm at Mr Hooke’s property in Glenquarry in the Southern Highlands.
Ms Burgess said Mr Burgess had texted her that morning to say he had arrived early. She told him to still arrive at 2pm. Mr Burgess allegedly went to the Royal Hotel Bowral for an hour and a half before the meeting.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Mr Burgess drinking at the pub from 12.06pm to 1.13pm. He could be seen talking to and taking photos with patrons while consuming four beers.
Mr Hooke said Mr Burgess arrived at the home at 2pm and he refused to leave after the designated two-hour period. Mr Hooke said Mr Burgess then came at him with wild eyes.
“I’m standing there with a six-foot-five, 118-kilogram bloke threatening me … my whole body just went cold,” he said. “He said, ‘F— you, you’re a piece of shit. You are just like your daughter, a piece of shit.’
“It was very aggressive, very aggressive … I had not seen that behaviour directed to me in Sam before … I was resigned to getting hit.”
Mr Burgess’ lawyer Phillip Boulton, SC, hit back at the claims and said Mr Hooke had told the former NRL star during the altercation, “I’m going to destroy your career if it’s the last thing I do.”
“You do want to destroy Sam Burgess’ reputation don’t you?” Mr Boulton asked.
“No, I don’t,” Mr Hooke said.
Mr Boulton told the court that, on a previous occasion, Mr Hooke, a former chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, had told Mr Burgess he could have helped him handle the backlash to his comments about the NRL judiciary system being a kangaroo court in a “much better way”.
He also said, on a previous occasion, the 64-year-old had told Mr Burgess that he was the one who brought down former prime minister Kevin Rudd, using the examples to describe how Mr Hooke was perceived to those around him.
“You do regard yourself and present yourself to your friends and your associates as being a hard player,” Mr Boulton said.
“No I do not,” Mr Hooke said.
During her time in the witness box, Ms Burgess told the court how she had left the property during the two-hour period in an effort to avoid Mr Burgess, before returning to the property after receiving a distressed phone call from her father.
She ran inside the home before her sister told her Mr Burgess had “gone off” at her father.
“I then asked my Dad what had happened … his mouth was dry, he was shaken, I’ve never seen my father quite like that … he was wobbly on his feet,” she said. “He looked like he was having a bit of anxiety or panic attack.”
Ms Burgess said she had decided to call the police after her father said Mr Burgess left the property yelling from his car, “Everyone that knows you, hates you.”
The hearing will continue on January 22.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.