John Westwood, pictured, 57, has been found guilty of assault and harassment after he planted a tracking device on his ex-partner and grabbed her when trying to get it back
A security expert hid a tracking device in the lining of his ex-girlfriend’s handbag after becoming jealous when she met a man on Tinder, a court heard.
John Westwood, 57, planted the small surveillance gadget to track the movements of former long-term partner Hazel Burnett shortly after the breakdown of their 12-year relationship.
He later assaulted her when she discovered the tracker and tried to keep it from him, with the attack only ending when her teenage son hauled him off her.
Poole Magistrates’ Court heard when Ms Burnett, 40, initially found the device she confronted Westwood, who admitted it was his but denied putting it in the bag.
Days later when Westwood was moving his belongings out of their home in Bournemouth, Dorset, he tried to take it with him.
Ms Burnett feared he would throw the ‘evidence’ out of the window and so took the device from off a shelf.
Westwood grabbed her by the shoulders and forced her against a bedroom window.
Ms Burnett suffered bruises and other minor injuries to her shoulder and upper arm in the attack.
The incident came to an end when Ms Burnett’s 18-year-old son entered the room and jumped onto Westwood’s back, grabbing him in a headlock.
The police were called and Westwood was arrested for assault.
The court heard he had also harassed John Major, the man his ex-partner had been seeing.
Westwood contacted his love rival via Facebook, followed the taxi driver in his car and turned up at Mr Major’s ex-wife’s house.
He denied charges of assault and harassment but was found guilty following a trial.
Westwood, who runs a security company, had been with Ms Burnett for 12 years but the couple split up in May this year.
She then began a brief relationship with Mr Major after seeing him online.
Ms Burnett said Westwood was constantly asking for details about her new partner.
She said she found the covert device in August inside the seam of her handbag, adding ‘the fabric had been cut and it was under the lining’.
There was some lettering on the front of it which she then Googled to find out what it was.
She said she believes the tracker was place in her bag to try and find out more about what she was doing.
When asked why she was so keen to get hold of the tracker ahead of Westwood, Ms Burnet told the court she had viewed it as her ‘only piece of evidence’ to what had been going on.
Hazel Burnett, 40, left, found the device in her handbag and tried to keep it as evidence, claiming Westwood was trying to find out details of her dates with John Major, right, whom she met on Tinder
Nicola Peach, prosecuting, said: ‘The crown says these are the actions of a jealous man.’
Westwood denied placing the tracker in her handbag. He added: ‘The device she claimed was in her bag was basically a box measuring two inches round.
‘That particular model also has be recharged every 12 hours.
‘There are trackers that are much smaller and only need to be charged every five years, so why would I use the one she claims?’
Westwood admitted putting his hands on Ms Burnett but claimed he was ‘just trying to calm her down’.
He claimed she suffered her injuries as a result of her son jumping on his back, causing all three of them to fall in a heap.
Mike Flynn, defending, said: ‘He was just trying to diffuse the situation and calm her down.
‘There was no way an assault took place.’
Westwood, from Christchurch, was found guilty of assaulting Ms Burnett and the harassment of Mr Major and will be sentenced on December 17.