Joondalup Business Association co-vice president refused bail over allegations he stalked estranged wife and breached VRO

Martin John Smith
Stock image.
Martin John Smith Stock image.

JOONDALUP Business Association co-vice president Martin John Smith is in jail on allegations he breached a violence restraining order and stalked his estranged wife by hiring a private investigator to track her.

Mr Smith (53) is also accused of organising a tracking device to be put on her vehicle.

He faced Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday after police arrested him on charges of aggravated stalking, unlawful use of a tracking device and breaching a violence restraining order.

Magistrate Gregory Benn denied bail, keeping Mr Smith in custody until his next appearance, due in Joondalup on December 5.

He did not make a plea to the charges.

He held his head in his hands as he learned he would be spending at least the next 11 days in jail.

Defence lawyer Chris Baker argued his client’s use of a private investigator did not constitute stalking because there was no malice in it.

He claimed Mr Smith employed the investigator to learn of his wife’s financial situation.

“He had no such intention to intimidate,” he said.

Police prosecutor Jasmine Hawks disagreed, stating the victim was “extremely fearful of the accused”.

In relation to the tracking device, Mr Smith, who runs multi-million dollar Neerabup business Orbit Drilling, was accused of asking one of his employees to put a GPS on his wife’s car in June.

The court heard Mr Smith then allegedly received coordinates of the car’s location by sending the device a text message.

Mr Baker told the court his client did this because his wife was driving one of his business fleet vehicles and he wanted to keep track of it.

Magistrate Benn did not accept this was the case, preferring the argument Mr Smith was trying to track his wife and not the car.

“It’s rubbish to try and convince me of anything other than that,” he said.

Mr Baker argued Mr Smith should be bailed because he needed to run his business and was the primary carer of a 17-year-old daughter, born to a former wife.

He told Magistrate Benn his client also had health issues including Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis and nerve pain.

Magistrate Benn said he was not satisfied these were “exceptional reasons or circumstances” for him to grant bail.

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