Hopoate banned from contacting fruiterer

Jamie McKinnell

Former NRL player John Hopoate has been ordered by a Sydney court not to approach or contact the owner of a neighbouring business he clashed with over money last year.

Hopoate appeared in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Monday where he became the subject of an apprehended personal violence order.

Hopoate in June was fined $1500 and convicted of common assault over a row with staff of a fruit shop which shares a till with the deli he part-owns.

The month before, he had gone looking for the owner, Carmelo De Velli, to sort out why his weekly take had dropped but began arguing with staff when he was told the owner wasn't there.

Things became physical but Hopoate later dismissed the incident as a "heat of the moment" exchange.

On Monday, he pleaded not guilty to stalking and breaching an existing apprehended violence order and those charges were dismissed.

He pleaded guilty to shoplifting and was fined $400.

Hopoate's 12-month order prohibits him from approaching or contacting Mr De Velli in any way.

He's also banned from assaulting or threatening the fruiterer, stalking, harassing or intimidating him, and damaging his property.