A FARRIER who was going through an acrimonious divorce has been convicted of stalking after he began filming his wife and her policeman boyfriend.
Blackburn magistrates heard Simon Bullen, 43, claimed he was gathering evidence to use in family court proceedings, but accepted he should have stopped after a police warning.
Jack Troup, prosecuting, said Bullen’s ex-wife, Stephanie Bullen started a relationship with Kevin Day, a serving Lancashire police sergeant, in November 2019.
Between November 6 and December 22 the defendant started filming his wife Mr Troup told the court: “There are 20 clips which show the complainants car parked outside Mr Day’s address.
“There were two occasions when there was an actual face to face confrontation and on both those occasions Stephanie was in her car.”
Mr Troup said on December 22 Mrs Bullen was cleaning at the Village Retreat hair salon when Mr Day came and asked her if she wanted to have breakfast with him.
While they were in the shop Bullen turned up and started banging on the door.
Mrs Bullen told him to go away and then went upstairs and took photographs of his black Range Rover to prove he had been there.
Martin Pizzey, defending, said his client had instigated divorce proceedings because of problems in the marriage.
During the course of those proceedings he heard village gossip which suggested she was involved in a relationship with a police officer.
“He believed they were planning his ruination,” said Mr Pizzey.
“Allegations were being made against him in the family court that were not true and he was collecting evidence. He accepts that at a certain point it became too much. On reflection he may have engaged the services of an inquiry agent.”
Mr Pizzey said his client was not bothered if his wife had moved on and had a new relationship.
“He does not seek to reconcile the relationship,” said Mr Pizzey.
“He wanted to prove that she was having a relationship with a police officer, that things would be done and he would be stitched up.
“He wanted to protect himself from false allegations that might have been engineered and choreographed. He accepts he has overstepped the mark”
Bullen, 43, of Bury Road, Turton, pleaded guilty to stalking Mrs Bullen.
He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £160 costs and £21 victim surcharge.
He was also made subject to a 12 month restraining order which prohibits any contact with Mrs Bullen or Mr Day or approaching their addresses or her parents’ address.
Passing sentence Deputy District Judge Duncan Birrell said Bullen had come to court as a man of positive good character.
He said: “I am as positive as anyone can be that this will be the only time you will appear before the courts.”
After the hearing, Mr Day said both he and Mrs Bullen were ‘relieved’ at the outcome of the case.
He said: “We are both extremely relieved the restraining order is in place as this was very important to us both.
“He wasn’t able to leave either of us alone and now we will be able to get along with our relationship like a normal couple.
“We never expected him to get a custodial sentence, it was the granting of a restraining order that we were most keen on.”