A jealous father placed a tracking device in his ex-girlfriend’s car – and discovered she was on a date with her lesbian lover, a court heard.
Construction site manager David Jones, 37, suspected Stacey Buckley may have found new love after they split so hid the tracker in her boot to follow her movements.
When Miss Buckley, also 37, said she was going on a shopping trip in Bury, Greater Manchester, Jones noticed she had made a detour to a house and decided to follow.
He later found her holding hands with Laura Flynn in a cafe at the Trafford Centre shopping mall, magistrates were told.
Miss Buckley, who worked for the same company as Jones, only found out he had been tracking her when he sent her a photo of the device.
In an accompanying message, he bragged: ‘I’ll find you wherever you are!’
He also admitted he was spying on her using the Imo messaging app on her mobile phone. Miss Buckley later searched her car and found a small black £80 GPS tracker hidden inside.
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court Jones, from Rochdale, was found guilty of stalking and a separate charge of assault by beating against Miss Buckley.
The court heard the couple’s 17-year romance crumbled last year before Miss Buckley started dating Miss Flynn, who is her sister’s ex-girlfriend.
Miss Buckley told the hearing: ‘We hadn’t been happy and David moved out. We had a holiday booked in October and decided to go – but we were not back together.
‘He would constantly text asking where I was and he started appearing in places I was.
‘I was in a relationship in mid-November with Laura Flynn.’
Miss Buckley said Jones’s behaviour left her ‘really scared’ and caused her great anxiety. ‘I thought every second of my life was being followed and watched by him,’ she said.
The court heard an image from the tracker showed Miss Buckley’s location, route and addresses visited at which times. Miss Buckley said during their relationship Jones ‘had started to think there were things going on behind his back’. She added: ‘But I was not seeing anyone while I was with him. It wasn’t his business what happened with me in late October and I was not having an affair.’
In December Miss Buckley was attacked by Jones at her home. She told the hearing: ‘He pushed me back into the door, then closed it behind him and began shouting at me saying he knew where I had been that day.
‘I have never seen him be like that. He grabbed my throat and pinned me against the door.’ She added that he refused to leave and removed the lock from her front door.
Jones told the hearing he was confronting Miss Buckley over a picture he had seen of her allegedly in bed with Miss Flynn but said: ‘I did not touch Stacey. I was angry. I was hurt and broken but I never grabbed her.’
He said he believed they were still in a relationship in early November and admitted placing a tracker in her car, saying: ‘It was a spur of the moment thing. I just wanted the truth.’
Presiding magistrate David Wagstaff told him: ‘You didn’t care that your behaviour was unreasonable. You thought what you were doing was right.’
Jones, who is believed to have a new girlfriend, will be sentenced later this month. It is expected he will receive a restraining order.