A man has been jailed after pleading guilty to stalking his estranged wife and her new partner.
Steven Brown, of Kingswood, Surrey, admitted last month at Basingstoke Magistrates Court that he stalked the pair over a three month period from November 2015.
The court was told how the 51-year-old placed two GPS trackers on his wife’s car and another on her partner’s vehicle, as well as hiring two private investigators to follow and take photographs of them.
Brown was sentenced to a 16-weeks in prison, which was suspended for two years. He was also given a restraining order for four years and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.
The magistrate also told him he must complete a 15 day “building Better Relationships” probation course and pay £620 in court courts and a £115 victim surcharge.
Speaking after the sentencing Police Staff Investigator Samantha Nol said: “The actions of Steven Brown had a profound impact on the everyday lives of his victims, leaving them feeling paranoid and in fear of who might be watching them.
“They were subjected to several months of stalking, not only via text messages and calls, but also by having their cars tracked by GPS devices.
“No one has the right to make anyone feel vulnerable and scared and our team worked tirelessly to ensure the person responsible was brought to justice.
“This was a complex investigation due to the technical examinations of the electronic devices and involved other specialised departments to help compile data to ensure we had enough evidence to link Steve Brown to the offences.
“Despite the challenges we faced, we were able to build such a strong case based on indisputable evidence that he had no choice but to plead guilty.
“I hope this case clearly shows how seriously Hampshire Constabulary takes reports of this nature and that we will do everything we can to help and support victims.
“Hampshire Constabulary is leading the way nationally in our approach to investigating stalking and this case is proof of how effective we can be.
“We would not have been able to get this result had it not been for the bravery of the victims who felt able to come to us and put their trust in us during what was a very difficult time for them, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for that.”
Hampshire Constabulary has developed the first multi-agency stalking clinic to review cases of stalking as they are reported. This has been recognised as best practice by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
This is one of the cases which benefitted from going through the clinic, offering victims support and advice throughout their ordeal.
Police, probation, the CPS, mental health professionals and, vitally, a dedicated victim advocate work together each month to review the most high risk or most complex cases and ensure everything possible is being done to stop the behaviour and keep the victim safe.
The clinic deals with up to four cases a month which are reviewed by a panel of experts and recommendations are made on how best to progress it, whether that is a prosecution and/or rehabilitate the perpetrator and support the victim.
The Hampshire Stalking Clinic hosted a conference last month to share the work of the clinic with other police forces and partners across the country to assist in providing the best possible support to victims of stalking and bringing more perpetrators to justice.