Barrow stalker fitted a tracking device on ex-partner’s car
Last updated at 16:49, Friday, 18 October 2013
A CHILDMINDER from Barrow stalked her ex-boyfriend by following his movements with a tracking device she planted under his car.
Julie Debra McCully, 43, was yesterday sentenced to 26 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months, for what magistrate Mrs Sue Leitch called a “planned and sustained campaign of harassment and stalking”.
Her former partner Mark Coplen, with whom she split last summer, started to receive texts from an unknown number and he could not understand how McCully was able to keep turning up where he went to bother him.
Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, told Furness Magistrates’ Court: “It became apparent that, strangely, wherever he went, she knew where he was.”
The decisive moment came when Mr Coplen’s brother joked the mum-of-two could have put a tracker on his car.
Mr Coplen checked the underside of his vehicle in January 2013 and found such an item fastened to it. He gave it to the police, who were able to work out through bank details that McCully had indeed bought the tracker.
Mr Appleby said that, when interviewed by officers, McCully claimed she had bought it with Mr Coplen’s consent because he feared his car was going to be stolen.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Coplen said: “I just couldn’t believe it when I found the tracker. I feel like my privacy has been totally invaded. I still can’t believe it. I check my car all the time. I feel almost trapped.”
In early December 2012 McCully also posted letters to Mr Coplen’s children making a false allegation that he had an illegitimate child. She also stalked Mr Coplen’s ex-partner Karen White and harassed his daughter Leah Coplen.
She sent Ms White numerous texts outlining a number of her personal details which would have involved “going to a great deal of trouble”. Ms White said in a statement: “I became extremely frightened. The texts identified where I lived, what car I drive, when I’d been out of the house and came home and said ‘I’m watching you’.”
A statement from Mr Coplen’s daughter, Leah, said: “Since she started bothering my dad, I started suffering from anxiety and have panic attacks and had to be referred for counselling.”
McCully, of Chester Street, Barrow, was found guilty after a trial on October 1. She was convicted of two counts of harassment and two counts of stalking between May 1 last year and May 7, 2013.
Mr Trystan Roberts, defending, said she had never been in trouble before and a previous partner described her as “generous, warm, unselfish and kind” and never had difficulty after their break-up.
She also has “cordial relations” with her ex-husband, and friends spoke highly of her. Mr Roberts said she had been a childminder for 11 years, but the conviction could have a “fatal” impact on her career.
McCully was given a restraining order against all three victims and must pay compensation to each. She must do 200 hours unpaid work, pay £500 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
First published at 16:34, Friday, 18 October 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
It sounds like this person has ruined a family, scared them half to death and made a complete fool of herself in the process. Claude I agree, if the shoe was on the other foot, the courts would have dealt and punished in a complete different way. What a disgrace to call herself a lady!!!
@ Charlie. How can you be an 'Ex-Barrovian'?
Surely if you are born here you will always be a Barrovian?
How bizarre. I can't wait to tell my colleagues in Barrow about this.
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