James Schembri fined​ ​$1000 for making a threat

A FATHER of numerous children​ who was​ claimed to have run down his partner​,​ has pleaded guilty to far lesser charges and been fined $1500.

James Paul  Schembri, 42, Crosses Road, Chetwynd, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing. 

He finished up pleading guilty to making a threat to kill and breaching a ​court ​order and was fined.

Police said Schembri and a woman were former partners who had five children together.

He lives near Casterton and brought two of the children to Warrnambool on July 6 at the request of his former partner who had car trouble.

There was a child exchange in the rear car park of the National Australia Bank in Warrnambool off Koroit Street.

The woman’s new partner blocked the alley.

Schembri asked for petrol money, which was refused and caused friction. 

They argued and the woman claimed Schembri kicked her to the lower left leg.

It was alleged Schembri approached the car, punched the window and said he would knock out the man and kill him. 

Schembri attempted to leave in his vehicle and nudged the other car.

​Police said the woman said stood in front of Schembri’s vehicle,​ she was ​carried 15 meres ​before falling to the road.

The woman claimed she suffered bruising and had blood in her urine. 

A medical report from hospital indicated she had no injuries, was discharged and went home.

When interviewed by police, Schembri said the woman jumped on his car’s bonnet as he drove “very very slowly”.

He said she jumped off and he​ then​ left.

“I didn’t run her over,” he said.

Schembri denied kicking the woman or punching the car window, but ​admitted​ he could have made the threat to kill.

“I acted on her actions, I probably shouldn’t have,” he said. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mick ​Aitken​ said it was reasonable to find from text messages that the woman had instigated much of the situation. 

He said police were happy to try resolve the case with the charges of making a threat and breach​ing​ a court order to proceed and other charges be withdrawn. 

Magistrate Ron Saines ​indicated that if Schembri pleaded guilty he would impose a non-custodial sentence.

He said the accused man had previously served jail sentences for violence and breaching court orders.

The magistrate warned that if Schembri decided to contest all charges​,​ and even some of them were proven​,​ that he was a strong candidate to be imprisoned.

 Mr Saines said in sentencing that Schembri’s ex-partner would have been as animated as he was during the disagreement but the accused man needed to learn to walk away.

Schembri said he did not assault his ex-partner but he did start swearing and carrying on.