Heathmere man accused of threatening to kill former partner

A HEATHMERE man who allegedly stole a locket containing the ashes of a deceased child is facing multiple charges over threatening his former partner. 

James Robert Janides, 42, of Fincks Road, Heathmere, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday in a bail application relating to charges of threat to kill, stalking, burglary and causing criminal damage. 

Police prosecutors told the court Mr Janides’ ex-partner had feared for her life and the life of her two children when she left Portland carrying nothing but a bag of clothes. 

Mr Janides, who represented himself in court, denied burglary and criminal damage charges.

Giving evidence, Portland police Sergeant Ryan Nelson said Mr Janides allegedly broke into his partner’s former home in May after she had left the region to avoid the accused. 

“The accused has gone to the address and broken into the premises,” Sergeant Nelson said.

It’s alleged Mr Janides stole a laptop, computer tablet and items of jewellery.

“One of the items of jewellery was a locket, which contained a button and ashes of a deceased child of the victim,” Sergeant Nelson said.

Sergeant Nelson also told the court Mr Janides sent the victim photos of himself appearing to burn pictures from her photo album, also containing images of the deceased child.

Mr Janides was arrested on a police warrant in Portland on May 15. 

Police later searched his home and property, finding a pitched tent with a photo album inside belonging to the victim. 

Police also found a disassembled but working shotgun inside a black case hidden beneath bark nearby. Evidence was also given in court showing threatening messages, allegedly sent by the accused. 

“One of the threats is that ‘I’ll ensure that your kids grow up without a mother’,” Sergeant Nelson said. 

“The (victim) is fearful for her safety and the safety of her children.” 

Mr Janides denied sending the messages and told magistrate Ron Saines he had closed his Facebook account.

He urged the court to grant him bail to tend to his racehorse business and to ensure he could pay his employees.

Magistrate Saines denied bail citing “unacceptable risks” to bail conditions and an intervention order. 

Mr Janides was issued with a one-year intervention order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

He was remanded in custody to reappear in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on June 16.