...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Domestic violence order taken out on behalf of Madeleine West against celebrity chef Shannon Bennett
Celebrity chef Shannon Bennett was once the subject of a domestic violence order taken out on behalf of his former partner, ex-Neighbours star Madeleine West.
The order was suddenly withdrawn before the scheduled hearing, and the reasons for the order are unknown.
Bennett and West were in a relationship for 13 years before they broke up in 2018, which West described as “messy” and compared it to “crossing the Sahara desert”.
Legal battles and restraining orders
West has been embroiled in her own legal battles this year.
She unsuccessfully challenged a restraining order taken out against her on behalf of Bennett’s father, Benny.
Magistrate Karen Stafford enforced the AVO for two years, preventing West from approaching Benny Bennett or Shannon Bennett’s Byron Bay estate when his father was visiting.
The appeal was lodged just days after the magistrate called her an “evasive” and unreliable witness and described West’s treatment of her ex-father-in-law, 75, as “verging on being aggressive”.
CCTV footage shows aggressive behavior
The apprehended domestic violence order followed a confrontation between the pair last May, which was caught on CCTV.
Magistrate Stafford found West had “barged her way in” to Shannon Bennett’s home while the chef was overseas and Benny Bennett was at home.
She concluded that Benny Bennett feared conduct amounting to intimidation, including harassment or molestation, disturbance, pestering, or repeated troubling, and that he felt this would occur if he stayed with the children.
West was not charged and denied an accusation of pushing her ex-father-in-law before taking away an 11-year-old girl.
Full custody of six children
Bennett has full custody of their six children, who are aged between nine and 17.
In 2020, West left Melbourne and moved to Byron Bay to be near her children, buying her own $4.6 million mansion in Suffolk Park.
Although Benny Bennett lives in Victoria, his wife died in 2020 and he regularly visits his grandchildren at Shannon Bennett’s home in Byron Bay.
After the alleged incident in May last year, the court heard that Mr. Bennett said he would no longer make such visits.
“I won’t do it any more, I’ll just tell my son, at my age, it’s very stressful,” the court heard he had said.
“I don’t want to put the kids through anything. It affects them. I’ll only go up when Shannon is there.”
Domestic violence is a serious issue, and the fact that a domestic violence order was taken out against Shannon Bennett on behalf of Madeleine West is concerning.
However, it is unclear what led to the order being withdrawn before the hearing.
The CCTV footage of the incident between West and Bennett’s father shows West’s demeanor as aggressive, and this may have contributed to the decision to withdraw the order.
It is also unfortunate that the legal battles between West and Bennett’s family have spilled into the public domain, with allegations of restraining orders and aggressive behavior.
The fact that Bennett has full custody of their children suggests that their separation was not amicable, and this is a reminder of the impact that relationship breakdowns can have on families.
Overall, this situation highlights the importance of seeking help if you are experiencing domestic violence or are in a difficult relationship.
It is also important to seek legal advice if you are involved in a legal dispute, as emotions can run high, and it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations.