A stalker was caught on camera trying to remove secret listening devices he planted in his neighbour’s house, including on her bed.
William Nolan, 59, and his wife were trusted with a key to neighbour Debbie Wearing-Jones’ home, so they could feed her cats while she was away.
Debbie, 64, was horrified when she found a voice recorder taped under her coffee table and then another behind the headboard in her bedroom.
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The widow then set up covert webcams to catch the rogue who came to collect the recording kit.
When Debbie, inset, watched back the footage she saw Nolan in her home, retrieving the spyware.
The brave grandma said: “I felt totally violated.”
Debbie said they had been “normal, friendly neighbours”, who trusted each other.
She said: “I’d actually always thought myself lucky to have them as neighbours. Sue had always been the chattier of the two but Bill, was a lovely, polite man, if a little shy.
“Of course I know differently now.’’
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Debbie was having dinner at home with her partner when he found a black plastic box under the table, held by double sided tape.
She initially thought it might be one of her grandson’s toys, but soon realised it was spyware, following an internet search.
As they looked for more, they found the recorder behind the headboard on the bed.
They reported the discovery to police, but were told with no sign of forced entry, she would need further evidence.
After setting up cameras, Debbie told Nolan’s wife she was going to be out. Half an hour later he was filmed frantically searching for his missing devices.
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Dad-of-four Nolan admitted a stalking charge and was jailed for 15 weeks.
Judge David Wain described the case as one of the most serious stalking offences he had seen, but blasted the CPS for its choice of charge, saying the decision severely constrained his sentencing powers.
The judge said: “Putting one on her headboard understandably caused her the most amount of distress imaginable.
“The safety she felt in her own home was destroyed. She felt sick to the stomach.”
Debbie, from Erdington, Birmingham, added: “These days I ask my niece to feed my cats, if I’ve learnt anything, it’s you just don’t know who you can trust.”
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