Walpole St Andrew man admits stalking ex-partner
A man from Walpole St Andrew has admitted placing a tracking device on his former partner’s car after their relationship ended.
Michael Bocking, of Walpole Bank, pleaded guilty to the charge of pursuing a course of conduct between November 2017 and June 2018 which amounted to stalking of the woman and which he knew or ought to have known amounted to the harassment of her at a hearing at Lynn’s Magistrates Court this morning (Friday, January 4).
Bocking, 58, also admitted persistently sending the complainant unwanted messages via email, WhatsApp and phone text messages.
Prosecuting, Joesphine Jones said: “The defendant and the complainant in this case had been in a relationship for a number of years and have a daughter.
“From the victim impact statement it is clear that this was a controlling relationship from an early stage.”
Mrs Jones added: “When the relationship came to an end that should have been it. However despite ending the relationship, the defendant was contacting the complainant by text, email and WhatsApp which led to her contacting the police.”
In May of last year, Bocking was served with a police information notice “making it clear she didn’t want any more contact” with him.
However, in June of last year, the complainant spoke to the police again after she found a tracking device on her car.
The device was forensically examined and Bocking’s DNA profile was found on it.
Mrs Jones added: “This was unwanted contact and it did have a very negative impact on her, as she felt like she was being watched.”
She said some of the messages were not of particular concern but they were indicative that the defendant was “trying to be aware of what she was doing”.
When Bocking was later seen at the complainant’s address by a neighbour, he was arrested.
Mrs Jones said he told police his former partner had “gone back on everything she had said” and that he did not “recognise her anymore”.
He said the only contact they had was “to do with his daughter” and he had installed the tracking device as he wanted “to track his daughter’s movements”.
Mrs Jones said there would be an application for a restraining order.
Mitigating, Alison Muir said: “The period of time covered by these charges is from November 2017 to June last year, since then there has been no further contact.”
She added: “It is fair to say it was a somewhat difficult relationship, as previously the complainant had been married to my client’s wife’s son.
“When that relationship broke down, they started a relationship.
“After it broke down, he did care very deeply for her but there were suggestions of infidelity and he realised she could not perhaps be as trusted as he had believed.”
Ms Muir said her client accepted that he was in the wrong, and had called the complainant names in the heat of the moment, but he had hoped they might have been able to reconcile the relationship.
“He did feel somewhat let down, but what he did was not the right thing to do,” she added.
“He wants to move on with his life.”
Presiding magistrate Anna Piggott said the bench believed the offence required reports to be made to instruct them on the best way to sentence for this offence.
The case was adjourned until January 25 for sentencing while an all options report is made. Bocking was released on unconditional bail.