'Obsessive stalker' faces jail after using tracking device to locate his ex

29 January 2020, 11:52

Keith Martin, 41, who secretly tracked his ex-girlfriend
Keith Martin, 41, who secretly tracked his ex-girlfriend. Picture: Northumbria Police
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

An "obsessive stalker" who covertly tracked his ex-girlfriend which a secret GPS tracking device is facing jail.

Keith Martin's ex-partner was baffled when the 41-year-old turned up at her new boyfriend's house, as she had not told him the address.

Officers from Northumbria Police were called, and when they searched her car they found a tracking device had been concealed underneath.

Martin used a mobile phone app to track his ex-partner’s movements while repeatedly bombarding her with text messages, emails and visits to her home.

Martin, of Bede Burn Road, Jarrow, was arrested and last week pleaded guilty to stalking causing serious alarm and distress.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced later this year.

PC Wendy Gribben, of Northumbria Police, said: “Martin is an obsessive stalker who terrified his victim over a prolonged period of time.

“His actions were sinister, calculated and intimidating as he struggled to accept the end of their relationship, and he went to great lengths to ensure his victim could not move on with her life.

“Martin would inundate his frightened ex-partner with text messages and emails before leaving flowers at her doorstep asking for another chance. His obsessive behaviour caused a great deal of upset and fear.

“This has been an incredibly distressing series of events for the victim, and I would like to praise her for the incredible bravery that she has shown throughout this investigation.

“I sincerely hope Martin’s conviction gives her some kind of closure and allows her to start the next chapter of her life, free of harassment and fear.

“We will continue to bring predatory and obsessive individuals like Martin to justice while ensuring our officers and the communities we serve, recognise the signs and understand the heightened risks associated with stalking behaviour.”

In a statement, the victim said she felt “sick” when officers showed her how Martin had tracked her movements after the relationship ended.

“I feel permanently sick and scared,” she said. “Keith has manipulated me and got into my head.

“I am terrified he will do something to my family and carry out a terrible attack on me. He knows everything about me – I am so frightened.

“When the police officer showed me the tracking device he had found on my car, I felt sick.”

Martin will be sentenced on March 23.