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Andrew O’Keefe enters guilty plea, told to abstain from drugs

An emotional Andrew O’Keefe has pledged to make a “sincere endeavour” to stay off illicit drugs as a magistrate warned the disgraced former TV presenter is running out of chances.

The 51-year-old will be released from custody after being arrested at a home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs earlier this month in breach of a court order.

He was expected to face court next week but instead entered a guilty plea on Friday after telling police he knew he was not supposed to be at the Point Piper property.

His lawyer Sharon Ramsden told Downing Centre Local Court that O’Keefe had technically breached the order, but he attended with permission to collect personal belongings.

Magistrate Greg Grogin disagreed it was only a technical breach.

The breach was not serious, he said, but it was aggravated by the fact he was already on conditional liberty for charges relating to the person in need of protection.

O’Keefe is due to return to court in November for that case.

“He breached his bail and the order being in a place he wasn’t supposed to be,” Mr Grogin said.

Ms Ramsden said there were no violence or threats involved in the breach and the people in need of protection were not at the property.

Mr Grogin granted a conditional release order with no conviction recorded.

O’Keefe will be required to abstain from any drugs not prescribed by his two doctors, among other conditions.

“I don’t try to set people up to fail,” Mr Grogin said, asking the ex-TV star if he would be able to comply.

O’Keefe replied: “I can guarantee that will be my sincere endeavour, yes.”

The 51-year-old has previously disclosed drug-dependency issues and undergone treatment for mental health disorders.

Mr Grogin added that O’Keefe would have good and bad days as he tried to recover, but he needed to comply with court orders.

“The leniency that has been shown to you will not be extended forever,” he said.

“I understand Your Honour, thank you,” O’Keefe said, appearing on-screen from the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre at Silverwater in Sydney’s west.

One of O’Keefe’s brothers attended along with his lawyer, however he made no comment as he left the court.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

– AAP

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