Ben Thompson: Manjimup man allegedly breaches restraining order, found under victim’s bed by police
A Manjimup man police allege they found hiding under the bed of his ex-partner who had a restraining order out against him has landed himself in a “three-strike position” and had his application for bail refused.
Benjimen Raymond Thompson appeared without representation via video link from Bunbury Regional Prison at Manjimup Magistrates Court on February 2 on four charges — two breaches of protective bail conditions and two breaches of a family violence restraining order.
On August 5, Thompson was issued with a family violence restraining order to not enter the premises of the victim — an ex-partner he has five children with — or be within 25m of them.
On January 13, he was put on protective bail conditions until February 27, when he was supposed to reappear in the Bunbury Magistrates Court.
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That same day, the court was told Thompson used a friend’s phone on private to call the victim.
Police allege the victim’s friend picked up the phone while the victim was in the kitchen and Thompson said ‘hi, it’s Ben.’ The friend hung up the phone immediately.
The victim then called 000 and police arrested Thompson.
In court, Thompson said: “I obviously didn’t read the VRO right. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with calling her to see the kids”.
He was released on bail after the arrest.
Police were called to the victim’s Manjimup address on January 24 at 2.43am aware of a FVRO breach and found Thompson hiding under the victim’s bed after searching for him.
He allegedly told police “I was locked out of my house and I was cold” when they asked why he was there.
He was arrested and taken to Bunbury.
Magistrate Joanne Andretich — who had granted Thompson bail on protective bail conditions on January 13 — did not accept Thompson’s claims of not knowing the rules, noting he used a friend’s phone and changed the ID to private to make the call.
“I don’t accept that you weren’t aware of the rules of your protective bail conditions,” she said.
“I gave you an opportunity and the way you responded was to call the victim that same day.”
Ms Andretich said Thompson was now in a three-strike position and refused his application for bail.
“Clearly no regard for court orders and what they mean,” she said.
“There’s nothing I can put in place to protect the community and the victim.”
Thompson will reappear in court on February 24.
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