Former AFL footballer Aaron James was already facing 133 charges of breaching an intervention order against his ex-wife when he allegedly committed the crime again by driving to Wangaratta – with drugs in the car.
The police family violence unit had been warned the 40-year-old, who played for Collingwood and Richmond in the 1990s, could be headed to the region where the victim had recently moved.
They got a call he had been seen driving past the woman’s house at 9.30am Sunday and arrested him on Parfitt Road.
Police discovered James borrowed the car from a member of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang and allegedly had 18 grams of methamphetamine, worth between $9000 and $12,000, and a police scanner in the vehicle.
He was also charged with drug trafficking after police looked at texts on his phone.
Senior Constable Darren Kalish told Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court on Monday that James was banned from being within five metres of his ex-wife’s home and banned from driving at all.
“The affected family member became terrified as she was just about to take her children to the football,” he said. “During the (police) interview, the accused was rude, belligerent and aggressive … He attempts to stand over and intimidate to take over the situation.”
James applied for bail without a lawyer, claiming the drugs and police scanner were not his and a court order which banned him from driving altogether was just a “typo” by the magistrate.
He teared up in the dock while telling the court how he wanted to see his three children, aged 10, seven and six, and had driven to Wangaratta to watch his son play football.
“I’m begging you, I’ve got people relying on me,” he said. “I’m not a risk to my ex-wife at all, I’ve never ever harmed her … I’ve never had any history of drugs and I don’t have anything to do with drugs. I don't deserve to be in jail.”
Magistrate Stella Stuthridge refused bail, saying James was too high a risk to be released.
The case was adjourned to Broadmeadows on July 28.