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Sam Burgess to learn his fate after testing positive to cocaine while on his way to pick up kids

Sam Burgess has escaped conviction for driving with cocaine in his system while on his way to pick up his two young children.

Magistrate Mark Douglass said in Moss Vale Local Court that Burgess had shown remorse, contrition and insight into his behaviour.

Mr Douglass said Burgess had undergone a ‘very arduous and rigorous’ four-week residential rehabilatation program after his offending.

That program did relate specifically to drugs.

Mr Douglass said there was a ‘real dichotomy” in Burgess’s behaviour before and after his arrest.

A saliva sample taken from NRL star Sam Burgess (pictured) after he was pulled over on his way to pick up his two young children was found to contain traces of cocaine. Tests by the NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Service detected a low level of the drug in his system

Previously he had been ‘setting a bad example’ whereas he had since undergone counseling and remained drug free.

The NRL star admitted driving with traces of cocaine in his system while on his way to pick up his two young children.

Burgess pleaded guilty in Moss Vale Local Court on Tuesday afternoon to driving with the prohibited drug present in his saliva.

Solicitor Bryan Wrench said his client had attended a ‘residential program’ and had returned clean drug tests since the offence.

‘This is not systemic conduct,’ Mr Wrench told the court.

Mr Wrench said the offence had been committed straight after Burgess’s wrongful conviction for itimidating his former father-in-law.

Burgess has also pleaded guilty to driving without a NSW licence and driving while unregistered.

Mr Wrench has asked magistrate Mark Douglass that no convictions be recorded.

His lawyer is expected to submit the concentration of cocaine was so low it would not have hampered Burgess’s ability to drive, or risked the safety of the children he shares with ex-wife Phoebe. 

Burgess was not accused of driving under the influence of cocaine, only with the less serious offence of having the drug present in his system when he was behind the wheel. 

His legal team is likely to make submissions about the stress Burgess has been under over the past 18 months as his marriage fell apart and his playing career ended due to injury.  

Burgess was not accused of driving under the influence of cocaine, only with the less serious offence of having the drug present in his saliva. He is pictured with ex-wife Phoebe

Burgess was not accused of driving under the influence of cocaine, only with the less serious offence of having the drug present in his saliva. He is pictured with ex-wife Phoebe 

Burgess was surprised by the initial positive test and was concerned by any suggestion his driving could have been inhibited. He had celebrated his older brother Luke's 34th birthday in Sydney's eastern suburbs at Coogee beachside restaurant Marrah two nights earlier

Burgess was surprised by the initial positive test and was concerned by any suggestion his driving could have been inhibited. He had celebrated his older brother Luke’s 34th birthday in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at Coogee beachside restaurant Marrah two nights earlier

The dual code international has given up alcohol and spent time on Queensland’s Gold Coast where he trained with Rob Quatro, a bodybuilding champion and pastor at a Pentecostal church.

He has not had a drink for more than two months and has told friends he is feeling ‘great’ off the booze. His plan is to stay alcohol-free for a year.

Burgess has been filming the second season of SAS Australia, the top-rating Channel Seven TV series which puts contestants through a modified special-forces selection regime.  

The 32-year-old was subjected to a random roadside drug test after being pulled over by highway patrol officers in the Southern Highlands about 1.30pm on Monday, February 22.

Burgess had been on his way to collect daughter Poppy and son Billy from Bowral, about 8km away, when police stopped his BMW X5 on the Hume Highway at Braemar.

A preliminary test detected signs of cocaine in his saliva and Burgess was taken to Southern Highlands police station where a secondary oral fluid test was undertaken.

That test returned positive to cocaine. 

Burgess had been on his way to collect four-year-old daughter Poppy and two-year-old son Billy from Bowral when police stopped his BMW X5 on the Hume Highway at Braemar

Burgess had been on his way to collect four-year-old daughter Poppy and two-year-old son Billy from Bowral when police stopped his BMW X5 on the Hume Highway at Braemar

Burgess was pulled over three weeks after he was found guilty of intimidating his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke (pictured) during a heated clash at the Hooke family home near Bowral in October 2019. That conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal

Burgess was pulled over three weeks after he was found guilty of intimidating his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke (pictured) during a heated clash at the Hooke family home near Bowral in October 2019. That conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal 

Burgess was originally issued with a court attendance notice for driving without a NSW licence and using an unregistered vehicle. 

The 2014 grand final hero was surprised by the positive test and was concerned by any suggestion his driving could have been inhibited on the afternoon he was stopped.

Burgess had celebrated his older brother Luke’s 34th birthday in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at Coogee beachside restaurant Marrah two nights earlier.

He had partied with friends and family on the Saturday evening before enjoying a round of golf early on Sunday morning, teeing off just before 7am.

The Burgess children were originally to be dropped off at their father’s shared rental property 15 minutes outside Bowral on the Monday morning.

The English-born footballer had driven for years on his international permit while on a working visa but had not taken out a NSW licence after gaining permanent Australian residency last year. Burgess is pictured (L to R) with brother Luke, mum Julie and brothers George and Tom

The English-born footballer had driven for years on his international permit while on a working visa but had not taken out a NSW licence after gaining permanent Australian residency last year. Burgess is pictured (L to R) with brother Luke, mum Julie and brothers George and Tom

When Burgess could not meet that arrangement because he could not access the property a new plan was made for the children to be collected from Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens at 2pm.

Burgess’s registration had been suspended due to $1,200 in parking and traffic fines which he paid on the spot at Braemar.

The English-born footballer had driven for years on his international permit while on a working visa but had not taken out a NSW licence after gaining permanent Australian residency last year. 

Burgess was pulled over three weeks after he was found guilty of intimidating his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke during a heated clash at the Hooke family home near Bowral in October 2019.

That conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal. Burgess has no criminal record in Australia or the United Kingdom.

Burgess has been filming the second season of the Australian version of SAS: Who Dares Wins, the top-rating TV series which puts contestants through a modified special forces selection regime. He is pictured with ex-wife Phoebe

Burgess has been filming the second season of the Australian version of SAS: Who Dares Wins, the top-rating TV series which puts contestants through a modified special forces selection regime. He is pictured with ex-wife Phoebe

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