AN APPREHENDED Violence Order against accountant to the stars Anthony Bell has been dismissed by a magistrate who said he was “not satisfied” his TV star wife Kelly Landry needed it for her protection.
The audio, which was recorded by Ms Landry — and ends in her cry of pain — was described by Magistrate Robert Williams following a court hearing for an AVO as “chilling”.
But even though Mr Williams determined Ms Landry had a genuine fear for her safety that night on November 18, 2016 at their Watson Bay mansion, he dismissed the AVO application against Mr Bell today.
The champion skipper, who won last year’s Sydney to Hobart yacht race, hugged his sister after Mr Williams delivered his hour-long judgement.
Mr Bell was fighting the AVO taken out by police on behalf of Ms Landry, 37, who claimed he was abusive, withheld money from her and allegedly assaulted her twice during their five-year marriage.
In the audio, Ms Landry can be heard telling Mr Bell she is scared as he pries open the locked door to her bedroom.
“You are carrying on, Anthony. You are acting psycho,” Ms Landry said at the time.
“I just want you to respect this door, something has flipped in your head tonight.”
Mr Bell says “please you are video-taping illegally to try to set me up. I’m not going to let you set me up for nothing I did. I am so scared of you Kel, because you’ve done this before”.
There is then sounds of a scuffle and a woman’s voice crying “oww” followed by a child’s scream.
In his judgement today, Mr Williams weighed up the evidence in relation to two allegations Mr Bell assaulted Ms Landry on February 4, 2012 and November 18, last year.
He found on the “balance of probabilities” he could not be satisfied Ms Landry hit her head on the ground during a struggle, and that Mr Bell later grabbed her around the throat during a fight at their Bondi home in 2012.
Mr Williams did side with Ms Landry over the November 18 fight, saying the audio recording of the fight proved Ms Landry’s claim that during a wrestle over her phone he knocked her arm into the wall.
At the time, Ms Landry was holding their small daughter whose head can also be heard hitting the wall.
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Mr Williams said it was “disturbing” to hear a fight which was “clearly of a marriage that has broken down”.
“The cry of the person in need of protection and what both parties agree is the sound of the child’s head hitting the wall can’t be forgotten, they were chilling sounds,” he said.
Mr Williams said he accepted that Ms Landry “feared for the safety of herself” that night when she decided to leave the house and only returned when Mr Bell had left.
However, Mr Williams also noted since and interim AVO was put in place with Mr Bell’s consent in January, there had been no incidents.
“There is no further evidence of any threats and intimidation,” Mr Williams said.
He noted that the pair had been separated since December 28 last year and, “there appears to be little if no opportunity of future incidents”.
Mr Williams said he had considered the safety of Ms Landry and he was not satisfied an AVO was needed.
However he said it had still been appropriate for the police to pursue the application in the first place.
Outside of court, Mr Bell had tears in his eyes as he described the tough decision to fight the AVO in open court in the glare of the media.
“I have crossed over that a million times in my mind before whether just turning up and copping to it might have been the easier thing for me when the suggestion that there would be some on-going protection required for any woman was put to me it was an easy answer that, no,” Mr Bell said.
“I grew up with a single mother and a beautiful sister and the values towards woman was something I had to not just cop.”
Ms Landry looked upset but did not say anything when she left court surrounded by family, friends and her lawyer.
The pair’s acrimonious marriage was exposed earlier this month during a four-day hearing on the AVO during which each party accused the other of excessive drinking.
Footy Show star Erin Molan was also dragged into the ugly fight when Bell’s lawyers cross-examined Ms Landry on her baseless suspicions the sports journalists relationship with her husband was inappropriate.
The court also heard that Ms Landry complained to her psychologist about the $1000 her husband paid her each week to buy groceries and other items saying she was paid “less than the nanny”.
Police applied for the AVO on behalf of the mother-of-two on January 4, days after Mr Bell, an expert sailor, won the Sydney to Hobart yacht race aboard the supermaxi Perpetual Loyal in record time.
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