A stalker was caught on camera trying to remove secret listening devices he planted in his neighbour’s house, including one on her bed.
Leigh Jones, 64, had been neighbours with William Nolan, 59, and his wife for 30 years, and trusted them with a key so they could feed her two cats.
She was having dinner at home when she was horrified to find a voice recorder taped under her coffee table, and then another behind the headboard in her bedroom.
The widow then set up covert webcams to catch the creep as he came to collect the recording kit.
She also carefully hoovered her carpet in one direction to capture the snooper’s footprints.
When the grandmother-of-one watched the footage back, she caught Nolan in the act, retrieving his spyware devices, and called the police.
The former security guard was arrested in December and later admitted stalking without fear, alarm, or distress, and was jailed for 15 weeks on May 25.
William Nolan’s footprints were captured in the carpet after Leigh Jones purposefully hoovered in one direction (Picture: SWNS)
The judge described the case as one of the most serious ‘stalking’ offences he had ever seen.
Ms Jones, who is bravely speaking out to raise awareness of stalking, said: ‘I felt totally violated. Bill’s trade is CCTV and security and things like that so that was also worrying.
‘I wasn’t scared of Bill as a person because I’ve never had cause to be scared. My only worry was if there was anything else planted.
‘To this day, I still don’t know whether there is. I just felt uncomfortable putting my underwear out in the garden, just the thought of him watching.
‘For somebody to put a recording device on your headboard, there’s only one reason why they would want to do that, and that’s a sexual reason – it’s something only a perv would do.’
The retired practice manager lived next door to Nolan, a father-of-four and grandfather-of-two, in Erdington, Birmingham, for three decades.
William Nolan, 59, was convicted of stalking and jailed for 15 weeks (Picture: SWNS)
She said they were ‘normal, friendly neighbours’ and would chat regularly, and trusted each other.
‘We’d talk on a weekly basis, just neighbour things like how we were doing, and things in general,’ she added.
‘I felt I could trust him with the keys to my house when I was out to feed my cats.’
The convicted stalker was ordered to pay £300 compensation and was banned from contacting his victim under an indefinite restraining order.
Judge David Wain said: ‘Putting one on the coffee table was bad enough but putting one on her headboard understandably caused her the most amount of distress imaginable.
‘The safety she felt in her own home was destroyed.
‘On discovery of the devices she said she was hysterical that someone wanted to listen to her personal conversations.
She felt sick to the stomach about the one on the headboard. That’s perfectly understandable.’
In mitigation, Pallo Bailey, said his client’s wife remained ‘supportive’ but added his behaviour had put a ‘strain’ on their marriage.
Ms Jones said she was disappointed by the 15-week sentence but was ‘happy that he’s been sent down for such a sick act’.
She added: ‘Family and friends say it’s like something out of a crime book. Even the judge said he’s never dealt with such a serious case of stalking.
‘I was widowed about two years ago and I’ve now got a new partner so I don’t know if that had anything to do with what he was doing.’