Burgess's former father-in-law 'terrified'

Ex-Souths captain Sam Burgess has pleaded not guilty to intimidating his former father-in-law.
Ex-Souths captain Sam Burgess has pleaded not guilty to intimidating his former father-in-law.

Sam Burgess's former father-in-law has described in court how he felt "fear" like never before during an argument with the ex-NRL star.

Mitchell Hooke gave evidence at Moss Vale Local Court on Monday about the incident he says took place in his NSW Southern Highlands home in October 2019.

He said Burgess had refused to leave his home before he "went off" yelling at him from about 20cm away, repeatedly telling him: "I'm going to get you".

"I remember the finger and it being right in my face," he said.

"And the look, I've not seen it before. He was wild. He was yelling. Not quite screaming but yelling, loud and aggressive in my face, it was enraged hate.

"I was terrified, I've never felt fear like it. My whole body went cold".

Burgess continued to hurl expletive-riddled abuse at the 64-year-old man as he got into his car and sped away from the property, he said.

Mr Hooke's daughter Phoebe Burgess also gave evidence earlier about a call she said she was not expecting from her father.

"He was emotional and shaky, he wasn't making a lot of sense, saying he's OK: 'He's gone, he had wild eyes ... he just came at me'," she said.

Former South Sydney captain Burgess, 31, has pleaded not guilty to stalking or intimidating with the intention to cause fear or physical harm, while an apprehended violence order has been taken out on behalf of Mr Hooke by the police.

Shortly after returning to the Glenquarry home Ms Burgess was told by another family member: "Pheeb he just went off".

Ms Burgess said her father's mouth was dry and he was visibly shaken.

"Never seen my father quite like that before... he was wobbly on his feet."

Burgess's lawyer Phillip Boulten SC accused her of leaking documents to a media publication in order to destroy his client's reputation.

But Ms Burgess said The Australian approached her about rumours that had been circulating and said she chose not to cover up her side of the story "which is so typical of the system I was a part of".

She described the toxic culture of the NRL as failing her and her former husband.

His defence has accused her and her father of seeking legal advice before calling the police shortly after the incident occurred.

Phone records show Mr Hooke had called his lawyer immediately after Burgess left his home.

Before Ms Burgess left the stand she became teary, describing going against her instinct by calling the police.

"I thought it was the ultimate betrayal, I didn't want to call the police".

CCTV footage was played in court showing Burgess interacting and taking pictures with fans while drinking four beers before he was due to visit the Southern Highlands home.

Burgess retired in 2019 after a 270-game NRL and English Super League career.

He stood down from roles as a commentator and South Sydney assistant coach in October.

The hearing continues before magistrate Robert Rabbidge.

Australian Associated Press