Ex-police officer who tracked wife with GPS spared same fate

A controlling husband who planted a GPS device in his wife’s car objected to being tracked himself as punishment.

Mark Howell-Walmsley, 58, of Capel Curig, Conwy, admitted controlling or coercive behaviour between November 2019 and March 2020.

The probation service requested he wear a leg tag to monitor his movements.

Judge David Hale said that would affect his job selling climbing boots and imposed a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years, at Mold Crown Court.

Howell-Walmsley ordered his wife Sharon McCaig to make her mobile phone available for inspection because of his “possessiveness”.

He also insisted on accompanying her on the school run, demanded photographic proof of her visiting her elderly mother in Cheshire and placed a tracker in the boot of her car.

Howell-Walmsley initially denied the charges but changed his plea to guilty after Ms McCaig began giving evidence at a trial in April.

‘So suspicious, so controlling’

Elen Owen, defending, said Howell-Walmsley had mental health problems and called the request of a leg tag a “draconian” step that would cause “difficulties and embarrassment” in his job.

Judge Hale agreed, but said there was no indication in the pre-sentence report that Howell-Walmsley understood the harm he had inflicted upon his wife, adding: “It’s all me, me, me.”

He added: “You have harmed her. You have seriously upset her, frightened her and worried her by your totally unnecessary conduct.

“This had all the makings of a happy relationship but you became so suspicious, so controlling, that it had to fail.”

The jail term was suspended due to the “more positive side” of the former officer’s character, though a restraining order was imposed.

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