Photo: Getty Images
Rugby league star Semi Radradra has two days to justify why he failed to show up to court for a domestic violence hearing or a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
An unimpressed magistrate revoked the 24-year-old's bail and ordered an arrest warrant be issued but put on hold until Thursday, following Radradra's no-show on Monday.
The Eels winger was due to face a one-day hearing at the Parramatta Local Court on domestic violence-related charges, but flew to Fiji last Wednesday citing a medical emergency with his father.
Magistrate Tim Keady was not convinced by a doctor's letter provided by the defence that said Radradra's father suffered from asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis and required further medication.
Semi Radradra Photo: Getty Images
Magistrate Keady said the illness appeared to be long term and nothing in the letter justified Radradra's sudden departure.
He said the NRL star "knew how serious that matter was" and the onus was on him to "satisfy the court with a satisfactory reason for his absence".
"If some further information can be obtained which provides the basis for deciding there was a reasonable excuse then that warrant will not be issued," he said.
Radradra pleaded not guilty in July to two counts of common assault and one of assault causing actual bodily harm, all related to domestic violence.
The charges relate to alleged attacks on his estranged partner, Perina Ting, in December 2014 and May 2015.
Prosecutors initially applied to postpone Monday's hearing because two of their witnesses were due to attend a conference in Victoria.
Radradra's legal team opposed the prosecution application and it was refused last Tuesday - the day before the Parramatta player left the country.
The court heard his bail conditions were eased on October 11 to allow overseas travel for work and family commitments but that freedom expired on Monday.
Radradra's hearing was postponed until February, with the case to return to court later this week.
Parramatta chief Bernie Gurr said the NRL club, which had granted Radradra compassionate leave to travel home to be with family, supported the "reasonable position of the court".
"We continue to work with Semi's manager to ensure Semi is in compliance with all future court requests," he said in a statement. Read the full statement below.
Eels Official Statement
Parramatta National Rugby League Club Chief Executive Bernie Gurr made the following statement today regarding Semi Radradra.
“The Parramatta National Rugby League Club was informed by Semi Radradra last Wednesday that it was his understanding from family, including his mother, that his father was gravely ill.
"In consultation with his legal team and Semi’s management, the Club granted Semi compassionate leave to return home to Fiji. This was granted on the proviso that Semi and his management complied with any requirements from the court.
"The Club understands the stress a family illness can provide and at all times we are considerate of the welfare of both Semi and his family.
"On Friday 25 November 2016 the court confirmed that the hearing would proceed on Monday 28 November 2016 and that, subject to the delivery of supporting documentation around the seriousness of the illness of Semi’s father, that Semi was obligated to appear in court.
"Our Club supported this reasonable position of the court.
"With today’s court ruling whereby Semi has been issued with a warrant, suspended until Wednesday 30 November 2016, we continue to work with Semi’s manager to ensure Semi is in compliance with all future court requests.”