Tyneside man bugged his ex-partner's Darlington home for more than three years to check on his daughter (From The Northern Echo)
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Tyneside man bugged his ex-partner's Darlington home for over three years to check on his daughter
A WOMAN has been left terrified in her home and was turned against her closest friends after her ex-partner bugged her house for three and a half years, a court has heard.
The victim said she suspected her ex had planted a listening device in her Darlington home after he started talking about things which she did not believe he should know.
When she confronted him, her ex, who comes from Tyneside, said her friends and family had been speaking to him and called her “evil, twisted and paranoid”, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, were told.
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he installed the device to check on his young daughter.
The device, which the man bought in London for £180, was installed behind a plug socket in the living room in November 2009, and could be accessed through his mobile phone.
It was discovered on April 25 this year when the woman was giving her daughter a bath, and pulled a plaster off the girl’s knee causing the child to scream, the court heard.
Prosecutor Andrea Milson said the man immediately phoned his ex and asked what was wrong with his daughter, making her realise that he could hear what was happening in her home.
Ms Milson said the woman had moved back to Darlington after their three-year relationship came to an end.
The pair were still amicable however and he completed some renovation work, which is when he installed the covert device.
When he was arrested, the man told police that he installed the device to check on his daughter as he was concerned about the amount of alcohol his ex-partner was drinking - a claim the woman disputed- Ms Milson said.
In a statement read to the court by Ms Milson, the victim said she had nearly suffered a mental breakdown after finding out she had been bugged.
She said: “I feel sick to the pit of my stomach that he has been listening to me for over three years, he has always known too much about my life.
“He made me question myself and used what he heard against me.
“I am scared every single day, I am totally distraught and it has left me feeling differently about my home.”
In mitigation, the court heard that the man, who admitted harassing his ex and illegally abstracting electricity, had serious concerns over the welfare of his daughter, and his intention was to make sure she was alright in her mother’s home.
The man was ordered to pay £250 compensation to his ex partner, £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs and was given a community order for 18 months with supervision and a requirement to complete a domestic abuse awareness course.
An indefinite restraining order was also put in place banning him from contacting his partner other than through a solicitor or agreed person, not to harass her and not to enter her home.