A stalker who hid a mobile phone in a woman’s car so he could track her movements was today spared jail.
Mark Newsome subjected the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – to a chilling six-month campaign of harassment.
At one point he hid a phone in the woman’s car so he could track her movements via its GPS signal – then bombarded her with texts telling her he knew where she was.
Newsome also admitted a charge of voyeurism after he snapped pictures of the woman as she dried herself after a shower.
A sheriff today described his actions as “sustained, sophisticated and sinister” – but Newsome avoided a jail term.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard during his stalking campaign, between November 2017 and April this year, Newsome had gone through the woman’s phone, screenshotting private messages on it and sending them to his own device.
Newsome also bombarded the woman with text messages, phone calls and messages on social media.
He also threatened to disclose sensitive information to her employer and pretended to retain personal information about her.
He then went on to conceal a mobile phone in her car and used it to track her whereabouts.
Newsome then repeatedly sent her text messages telling her that he knew where she was.
He further admitted that at some point between February 2017 and April this year he took a picture of the woman drying herself after coming out of the shower “for his own personal use”.
Newsome, 46, of Milton Crescent, Anstruther, Fife, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to charges of stalking committed between November 2017 and April 2018, and of voyeurism committed between February 2017 and April 2018.
The offences took place at Upper Largo, Fife, at Asda in Kirkcaldy and elsewhere.
Defence solicitor Doug McConnell said: “This goes beyond the usual type of [stalking] case the court deals with.
“He apologises for that and he doesn’t understand why he did it.
“He’s been a man who has always been of good behaviour and this was an aberration.
“He is still in employment and has a good job.”
Sheriff James Williamson imposed a community payback order with 12 months supervision and 180 hours unpaid work.
He also placed Newsome on the sex offenders register for a year.
He said: “This was a sophisticated effort and exercise on your part.
“These are serious matters.
“Often these offences are committed by people who stumble about into it.
“You on the other hand gave this some thought.
“It was sustained and quite sinister.”