Neighbours star Madeleine West has launched an immediate appeal against the two year domestic violence order slapped on her by a magistrate who delivered a scathing judgment of the ex-model’s behaviour.
The appeal has been lodged just days after Magistrate Karen Stafford called her an ‘evasive’ and unreliable witness, and described West’s treatment of her ex father-in-law, 75, as ‘verging on being aggressive’.
Benny Clifton Bennett is the father of Celebrity Masterchef Shannon Bennett and the grandfather of West’s six children with the restaurateur.
Magistrate Stafford enforced an Apprehended Violence Order for two years from Tuesday, March 28 preventing the TV star from approaching Benny Bennett or Shannon Bennett’s Byron Bay estate when his father was visiting.
Neighbours star Madeleine West has launched an appeal against her two year AVO enforced this week by a magistrate who slammed her behaviour with her ex father-in-law, the model taking the case to the District Court
A Byron Bay magistrate enforced a two year AVO protecting Celebrity Masterchef Shannon Bennett’s father, Benny Bennett, 75 (above) from Neighbours star Madeleine West, who is now appealing it
This followed a confrontation between the pair last May.
The Magistrate concluded that: ‘I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Benny Bennett has these fears, not of personal violence … but of conduct amounting to intimidation, including harassment or molestation, disturbance, pestering or repeated troubling and he feels this will occur if he is staying with the children.’
‘I am satisfied he fears if visiting his grandchildren he will be harassed by (Madeleine West).’
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. The encounter was caught on CCTV.
Madeleine West and Shannon Bennett’s lengthy romance ‘turned toxic’ according to the celebrity chef, culminating in an AVO against her protect Bennett’s dad, which the model is now appealing
West was not charged and denied an accusation of pushing her ex-father-in-law before taking away an 11-year-old girl, telling the court ‘I didn’t lay a hand on him’.
Ms Stafford said CCTV footage of the incident showed West’s ‘demeanour is almost verging on being aggressive, shows her almost dragging that child off that property.
‘She did barge her way through door, when it appears she had been refused entry.
‘It certainly appeared she had a grip on (the child’s wrist) and was almost dragging the child … off the property.
‘In many of the scenes, (Mr Bennett’s) head is bowed, shrugging his shoulders, almost in defensive resignation by this man she was not listening to.
‘As soon as the gate is open… (West is) assertive almost aggressive. She … strides forcefully up the path to the house followed by Benny Bennett who looks quite downcast.
Madeleine West at Byron Bay courthouse where a magistrate rejected her testimony as reliable and described her as ‘evasive’ and causing celebrity chef Shannon Bennett’s father to be fearful
Madeleine Bennett (above) lives in the Byron shire suburb of Suffolk Park from which she has launched an appeal in the Lismore District Court against a two year domestic violence order against her
Madeleine West gets some help slapping on mud at the Bexhill quarry near Bangalow on the afternoon before she fought an AVO against her, was judged an ‘evasive’ witness and is now appealing
‘She does seem to be grabbing on to the child, almost forcing the child (who was) sick and needed to be looked after, and yet she strides at a very fast pace, expecting this child to follow her very speedy pace down the path and the child is almost stumbling to keep up with her.’
Madeleine West had a 13 year relationship with Shannon Bennett, sharing children now aged between nine and 17 years old, before their acrimonious split in 2018.
He has fulltime custody of the kids.
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.
More recently, the actress and podcaster has revealed she was a child sexual abuse victim.
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 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.’
‘I can’t put up with what she does’, Mr Bennett was reported as saying about West’s behaviour around his grandchildren, ‘I can’t be the meat in the middle.’
Madeleine West’s appeal is listed in the NSW District Court in Lismore in May.