Man bugged ex-wife's bedroom to catch her with new lover
A WILSONTON man who suspected his ex-wife was seeing another man "bugged" her home to spy on her, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.
The couple had been in a relationship for six years but separated last year, the court heard.
In early October, the woman had started receiving text messages from her 48-year-old estranged husband that she took as threatening and intimidating, police prosecutor Tim Hutton told the court.
Even after telling him to stop contacting her, over a three-week period she had received 95 text messages and 20 missed calls.
However, toward the end of the offending period, the victim noticed some of the text messages contained information that only she and a few people close to her knew including the sale of a horse and other private matters, Sergeant Hutton said.
Believing the man could only obtain such information if he was following her, the woman became scared for her safety and had trouble sleeping, he said.
When police spoke with the man on October 24, he readily admitted to having planted a recording device attached to an air-conditioning duct underneath his ex-wife's home which was connected through the floor to a microphone in the woman's bedroom, Sgt Hutton told the court.
He told police he believed what he had done was lawful and that he had wanted to know if his ex-wife was seeing someone else, he said.
The man, who is not named so as to protect the identity of the victim woman, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful stalking.
Because a domestic violence protection order was to be imposed following the man's plea of guilty, the victim woman was in court and appeared nervous and uneasy as the facts of the case were put before the court which was closed to the general public.
Defence solicitor Troy Krahenbring told the court his client had no previous criminal history at all.
His client's offending had arisen out of a question of infidelity and after he had not been satisfied with the woman's denials and responses, he said.
His client had co-operated fully with police and told officers where they would find the recording device, he said.
His client had since moved on with his life and wanted nothing further to do with his ex-partner, Mr Krahenbring submitted.
Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck fined the man $1800 but ordered the conviction not be recorded.
With the defendant's consent, Mr Schemioneck imposed a two-year domestic violence protection order prohibiting him from having any contact with the woman.