TV and radio presenter Yumi Stynes claims she was left afraid for her life after splitting up with her husband of nine years, who in turn claims she was violent towards him.
Ms Stynes and her ex-husband Martin Bendeler appeared in Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court on Thursday to face off in a legal battle over harassment allegations.
Mr Bendeler is challenging the imposition of an apprehended violence order which restricts his interactions with his ex-wife.
Under the standard terms of the restraining order, he must not assault, threaten, stalk, harass or intimidate his ex-wife or damage her property.
Mr Bendeler, who is a practicing solicitor, has not been accused of any wrongdoing and the court heard he has no criminal record.
Yumi Stynes and her ex-husband Martin Bendeler (pictured while married) appeared in Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court on Thursday to face off in a legal battle over harassment allegations.
Yumi Stynes is pictured as she enters center field at Downing on Wednesday
The interim order was made by police in December last year on behalf of Ms Stynes, who claimed to fear for her safety due to harassing messages from her ex.
Police prosecutor Michael Cleaver said “the volume of messages received by the complainant and the nature of those messages” had caused Ms Stynes to feel harassed and frightened.
The court heard that the author told police that Mr. Bendeler had never harmed her, but that she believed his behavior had become “increasingly unpredictable”.
“I am concerned that if we are not in a public place he is more likely to be violent,” she said in a statement to police.
After making a second statement, the TV and radio presenter urged police to act in the face of the “discomfort and fear” caused by her ex-husband’s “harassment”.
“I am literally afraid for my life,” she told them in her AVO application.
The court heard Mr. Bendeler sent 242 messages to his ex-wife in the period leading up to his complaint, but police only saw the selected messages provided by Ms Stynes.
Ms Stynes claims she was afraid for her life after breaking up with her husband of nine years, Mr Bendeler, who in turn claims she was violent with him (the couple are pictured together on their wedding day marriage).
His lawyer, Paul McGirr, told the court there were “no threats in any of the messages” and described Mr. Bendeler as a “non-violent man”.
He argued that Ms Stynes had used her complaint “as a weapon rather than a shield” to strengthen her position in a separate legal dispute.
“It’s not just a coincidence that she wants an AVO, there are family court proceedings fast approaching,” Mr. McGirr told the court.
“It smells bad”.
Mr. Bendeler said he never hurt Ms. Stynes or even raised his voice against her during their years of marriage. However, he told the court she had been violent towards him.
“I’m afraid that Yumi will send the police to me based on how she feels when I don’t think I’m always responsible for how she feels,” he said.
The lawyer said his client felt “humiliated and frightened” when police knocked on his door in December and told him his ex-wife found his messages harassing and inappropriate.
Despite police’s suggestion to contact Ms Stynes only through lawyers, the court heard Mr Bendeler sent her a message just hours after the police visit.
In it, he mentioned a recent sexual encounter with another woman, which Mr Cleaver said was “designed to arouse some form of outrage or disgust” and amounted to harassment.
However, Mr McGirr said the discussion was not inappropriate for a former couple who were open about sex.
He argued that Ms. Stynes did not ask her ex-husband to stop messaging her, but Mr. Cleaver argued that Mr. Bendeler instead ignored her call and continued to message her.
The court heard the author (pictured) tell police that Mr. Bendeler had never harmed her, but that she believed his behavior had become “increasingly unpredictable”.
“The evidence supports the assertion that (Mr. Bendeler) has engaged or is likely to engage … in conduct that would amount to the offense of domestic violence,” the prosecutor said. police.
Mr McGirr strongly disagreed, pointing to the lack of threats in the messages and the timing of the complaint.
Magistrate Keisha Hopgood will make her decision next month on whether to impose a final AVO.
“Given the importance of the decision, it’s not something I’m going to rush,” she said.
Mr. Bendeler will remain bound by the interim order until he returns to court in October.