A 32-year-old man put a tracking and audio device in his partner’s car because he believed she was being unfaithful to him, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.
Andrew James Moffett, Irwin Avenue, Lurgan, admitted that between July 1 last year and January 21 this year he pursued a course of conduct which amounted to harassment of a female.
The court heard that in January the injured party reported to police that her ex-partner, the defendant, had sent her a number of unwanted texts.
There was a GPS tracker in her car and she sent him a solicitor’s letter saying she did not wish any further contact but for child care arrangements about their daughter.
Moffett admitted that he had received the letter, sending the text messages and putting the tracker in her car without her knowledge and consent.
He agreed that he had gone overboard but denied the messages were meant to cause her anxiety.
District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said this was about control by the defendant.
She added that if putting an audio listening device in the car was not control she didn’t now what was.
“This is very dangerous,” said the judge.
A defence solicitor said Moffett accepted what he had done was wrong.
He added that he deeply regretted what happened and it came about from not handling the break up of the relationship. He had sought counselling himself.
Judge Kelly said this was a serious offence of harassment and what made it even more concerning was that the defendant was highly educated and among the elite of the intelligentsia of this country.
She suggested that putting the GPS device and the audio device was a way for him to worm his way back in.
From the dock Moffett said that was not true. “I put the tracker in her car because she was being unfaithful,” he added.
“Why?” asked Judge Kelly.
Moffett said because she was unhappy with him and if she was why didn’t she leave. “I was happy and as far as I was concerned so was she,” he added.
Judge Kelly said the entire package of what he did ‘screams control’ and certified the offence so serious she would deal with it by a community based disposal.
She imposed a combination order of 90 hours community service and an 18 month probation order.