A magistrate has refused to believe a repeat family violence offender has an illness that would make him especially vulnerable if coronavirus spread to the prison system.
The 51-year-old Hamilton man, who cannot be named because that would identify the victim, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week charged with serious family violence offending, including stalking and persistently breaching an intervention order.
The alleged offending related to a number of incidents when the man stalked, harassed and threatened his former partner.
On one occasion he allegedly held a knife 30 centimetres from the victim's face and threatened to kill her.
He is also accused of calling the victim 37 times in a four-hour period, despite a court order prohibiting him from contacting her.
The man was arrested in February this year and while in police presence, he made threats towards the victim and told officers: "You won't be able to protect her once I get out".
Sergeant Jason Dance, of the Warrnambool police family violence unit, told the court the victim was terrified of the man's "very erratic behaviour and extremely bad temper".
He said the man was the respondent in intervention orders involving 17 different victims.
During a bail application, lawyer Luke Howson called on his own client to give evidence about his health.
The accused man told the court he had recently suffered a heart attack and every year was admitted to hospital due to the common cold.
He said if he remained in prison in the current coronavirus pandemic, he would be a "sitting duck".
But Sergeant Dance said there was no evidence of the man's ill health, stating the accused often began "coughing and wheezing when something doesn't go his way".
He said an ambulance was called to the police station cells four times due to the man reporting of chest pains.
"Each time he was discharged quite quickly afterwards as there was nothing wrong," Sergeant Dance said.
"On one occasion when told he was going to Melbourne via prison transport, he stripped off naked and ran around the cells in an attempt to raise his heart rate."
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said he was not prepared to accept the evidence of the accused man, stating that he was "not worthy of credit".
He said the man had a history of failing to comply with orders, and that the alleged offending "undermined the effectiveness of the family violence legislation."
The man was refused bail and remanded in custody until April.
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