Surprise twist in Jamil Hopoate’s domestic violence case

Former NRL player Jamil Hopoate caught Covid-19 while waiting to find out if he will be jailed for spitting and slapping his partner.

The assault took place during a drunken incident in Port Macquarie late last year.

The former Brisbane Broncos player was scheduled to appear in Sydney Downing Center Local Court on Friday, where Judge Miranda Moody would sentence him.

However, Hopoate’s attorney, Evan James, told the court that his client had contracted Covid-19 while on bail and was unable to attend in person.

The hearing could still continue via video link.

But Ms. Moody said she may require Hopoate to be in court, which means the matter could be adjourned for a fourth time.

Hopoate was released in early July.

Camera iconJamil Hopoate caught Covid as he was about to be sentenced for assaulting his partner Shae Beathe (right) outside a Port Macquarie club. Photo: Steve Pohlner. Credit: News Corp Australia

He pleaded guilty to seven felonies, including two counts of common battery: domestic violence related, one count of common battery, two counts of stalking / intimidation, driving without a license and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Hopoate was arrested after being kicked out of Panthers Port Macquarie on December 28.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting Shae Beathe, who was taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital in the club’s parking lot before he accelerated.

According to an agreed factual statement, the couple were having dinner at the club before Hopoate went to the slot room where he continued to drink.

When Ms. Beathe came to ask him to take her family home, he argued, snatched the bank card, folded it, and threw it on the ground, prompting security personnel to intervene.

CCTV captured the moment when Hopoate spat at Ms. Beathe, hitting both her partner and the security guard.

He was expelled, but the altercation continued in the parking lot, where he unleashed a verbal tirade and slapped Ms. Beathe.

Camera iconThe Broncos did not re-sign Jamil Hopoate before assaulting his teammate. Photographer: Liam Kidston. Credit: News Corp Australia

Ms. Beathe was escorted to her car for security and when Hopoate saw her approaching, he made a verbal threat to the guards.

“What are they going to do? I’ll hit them,” Hopoate said, according to an agreed statement of fact.

Hopoate struck Ms. Beathe in the face with an open palm, knocking her to the ground.

Ms. Beathe told police that she did not want to make a statement, however the incident was captured on CCTV.

She was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure and Hopoate’s car was seen slowly passing through the driveway.

Eventually, he was pulled over on Oxley Highway in Port Macquarie and recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.095, almost twice the legal limit.

Jamil Hopoate was arrested for his alleged involvement in a large-scale cocaine importation.  Supplied / NSW Police.
Camera iconJamil Hopoate was arrested for his alleged involvement in a large-scale cocaine importation. Supplied / NSW Police. Credit: Supplied

Hopoate played 12 games for the Brisbane Broncos in 2020, but the club refused to renew his contract prior to his arrest.

He successfully filed for bail in the Supreme Court in July, and Ms. Beathe marked the occasion with an Instagram post that read, “And he’s home … Amen.”

More to come.

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