Man put tracker on lover’s car…

Sen­tenced af­ter stalk­ing woman

West Lothian Courier - - News - Courier re­porter

An ex- sol­dier planted a track­ing de­vice in his part­ner’s car so he could mon­i­tor her move­ments, a court heard.

Scott McNee drew on his army train­ing and ex­per­tise in close per­sonal pro­tec­tion in war zones to keep tabs on the woman with­out her knowl­edge.

He claimed that he was con­cerned for her safety be­cause he feared she was meet­ing peo­ple to take drugs, Liv­ingston Sher­iff Court was told.

But when he turned up un­ex­pect­edly at a pub car park he dis­cov­ered to his shock that she was cheat­ing on him with her for­mer boyfriend.

The woman called the po­lice af­ter she learned McNee was still able to find her af­ter she had dis­abled a ‘friends and fam­ily’ lo­ca­tion app on her smart­phone.

Of­fi­cers searched her car and found a hid­den global po­si­tion­ing sys­tem ( GPS) de­vice which al­lowed the ac­cused to mon­i­tor her move­ments via the in­ter­net.

As­sis­tant procu­ra­tor fis­cal Deb­o­rah Demick said the woman had ar­ranged to meet an old flame at a Beefeater restau­rant in West Loth­ian for lunch.

She said: “The com­plainer was up­set at the ac­cused turn­ing up unan­nounced. She didn’t make it into Beefeater, this hap­pened in the car park.

“Some days prior to this there was a ‘chance’ bump­ing into each other which aroused her sus­pi­cions be­cause he was turn­ing up where she was, un­wanted.

“It emerged that the ac­cused was aware of her move­ments be­cause of the track­ing de­vice he had put into her mo­tor ve­hi­cle.

“A GPS tracker was sub­se­quently un­earthed by the po­lice af­ter she con­tacted them, so con­cerned was she by his be­hav­iour.

“The ac­cused was de­tained and he ad­mit­ted pur­chas­ing the tracker and putting it in his ex part­ner’s car with­out her knowl­edge.”

McNee (44) of Hunt­burn Av­enue, Lin­lith­gow, ap­peared for sen­tence last Thurs­day af­ter plead­ing guilty to stalk­ing the woman, now his ex part­ner, be­tween Septem­ber 7 and 10 this year.

He com­mit­ted the of­fence at ad­dresses in Liv­ingston and Bath­gate and at his for­mer home in Cameron Drive, Kirk­caldy, Fife.

Iain Smith, in mit­i­ga­tion, ad­mit­ted that McNee’s be­hav­iour “ap­peared sin­is­ter at first blush”.

But he ex­plained: “He was afraid she was tak­ing drugs. What he didn’t sus­pect, and what he was hor­ri­fied to find out, was that she was hav­ing an af­fair.

“That wasn’t the nor­mal type of con­trol­ling be­hav­iour that goes on.

“He says he took the de­vice which was on his mo­tor­bike and put it into her car be­cause he felt she may have been go­ing and get­ting drugs.”

He claimed the woman’s ve­hi­cle had been parked in an un­usual place at Deer Park, Liv­ingston, on the day McNee turned up.

The lawyer said: “The chap was there. He didn’t smash him. He didn’t punch her. He didn’t shout and swear at her.

“When he did con­front her he asked her what was go­ing on and, see­ing her in the arms of an­other, he turned tail – dis­traught – and left, and the re­la­tion­ship is now over.

“He found out the truth, that she’d been cheat­ing on him be­hind his back.”

He went on: “He doesn’t re­ally be­lieve she’d have been as alarmed as had been sug­gested but she would have been up­set be­cause she had the right to a se­cret life if she’d cho­sen.

“His in­ge­nu­ity may have been as­sisted by his pro­longed pe­riod as a sol­dier in the armed forces for 15 years.

“There­after he was in close per­sonal se­cu­rity both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Per­haps that didn’t as­sist his thought process. He ac­cepts he’s done the wrong thing.”

Sher­iff Kevin Drum­mond sen­tenced McNee to carry out 100 hours of un­paid work within nine months un­der a com­mu­nity pay­back or­der.

Pass­ing sen­tence, he told the ac­cused: “You claim to have done this out of con­cern for your then part­ner’s safety.

“That may be what you say but I have to say that I agree with the au­thor of the so­cial in­quiry re­port who ex­presses the view that this is ex­treme and con­trol­ling be­hav­iour.

“None­the­less, the re­la­tion­ship has now con­cluded and I con­sider I can deal with this by other than a cus­to­dial sen­tence.”

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