Ex-Wife Found Not Guilty of Threatening to Kill Fast-Fit Founder
The former wife of Australian fast fit mogul Bob Jane has been found not guilty of threatening to shoot and stab him. The rocky relationship experienced by the Janes, who divorced in 2008, is well known in their homeland – amongst other things, Bob, aged 79, accused his ex-wife last year of forging his signature on a mortgage document in order to pay off the AU$1.5 million (£706,000) in debt she had racked up on her 41 credit cards.
In February 2007, Bob Jane was granted a 12-month intervention order against his former wife of 20 years, 39-year old Laree Jane, of threatening to shoot him and threatening him with a kitchen knife. She was also accused of throwing a television remote control at the Bob Jane T-Marts founder.
During a four-day trial that ended January 22, the jury was told the couple had separated about six weeks before the December 2006 incident, but Mr. Jane had paid a visit to his wife and their 18-year-old daughter, who had undergone an operation. During the course of the evening the Janes argued about a former girlfriend of Mr. Jane. Both parties later accused each other of being the aggressor.
First Mr. Jane told the jury he was “absolutely terrified” during the incident, adding he was “horribly scared because … I was expecting to be stabbed, I was anticipating the worst.” The following day, Ms Jane stated her former husband had attacked her. “He grabbed hold of me by the arms and he pushed me up against the front door,” she said. “He hurt me. He is the one that grabbed me and hurt me, he is still strong enough to hurt me.”
Following hearing the evidence a County Court in the state of Victoria delivered a not guilty verdict on all charges. Ms Jane smiled as the verdict was delivered and hugged family when she left the dock. She gave no comment to media.
Bob Jane opened his first Bob Jane T-Marts outlet in 1965. The company is still an independent, family-owned business, with son Rodney Jane serving as the current CEO. Currently there are around 150 Bob Jane T-Marts around Australia. The chain is, incidentally, the only major Australian tyre retailer not to see retreads, a decision taken following the death of Jane’s daughter in a car accident attributed to a punctured retread.