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Jealous Stephen Ross from Salhouse planted bugs in car and sofa to secretly monitor his ex-partner

PUBLISHED: 17:32 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:44 24 May 2017

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Archant.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Archant.

Archant

A man has been jailed for controlling and coercive behaviour of his ex-partner after fitting a tracker in a car and secretly recording conversations from a device in the sofa.

Stephen Ross, 46, of Mill Road, Salhouse, was sentenced today at Norwich Magistrates’ Court to 16 weeks in prison.

Ross pleaded guilty to carrying out the offence of engaging in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship at his former family Norwich home before January.

There were no incidents of physical violence.

Prosecuting, Alison Cotterill said Ross had been in a relationship with the victim for just over eight years and the couple had two children.

The court heard the relationship ended in June 2016 and between January and August 2016 he fitted the family car with a secret tracking device.

During that time he also hid recording equipment in a sofa in the family home because he was concerned she was having an affair.

Ross also controlled the family finances, according to the prosecution.

Miss Cotterill said: “She [the victim] became isolated from friends as a result of his behaviour.”

She added the victim changed from a “strong and independent woman” to someone who was “anxious, tearful and exhausted”, according to friends.

Defending Ross, Debbie Reynolds said the couple were going through financial difficulties after the victim gave up work because of deteriorating health.

She said Ross had moved jobs to be a more hands-on father and help the victim out.

Miss Reynolds said Ross “wholeheartedly accepted” that using a recording device and tracker was controlling behaviour.

She said: “It was for him to establish if she was having a relationship with someone else. He accepts he went about things the wrong way.”

Miss Reynolds added that Ross, who she described as a “well thought of gentleman”, denied controlling the family finances and preventing her from seeing friends.

During sentencing, district judge Paul Booty said the victim had suffered emotionally.

Ross was also ordered to pay £800 in compensation and given a two-year restraining order.

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