Chelsea woman used Alexa to scold ex-lover’s new girlfriend

·2-min read
An Amazon Echo smart speaker (PA) (PA Archive)
An Amazon Echo smart speaker (PA) (PA Archive)

A management consultant from west London accessed the Alexa device at her ex-boyfriend’s home from more than 100 miles away to tell his new partner to get out of the house.

Philippa Copleston-Warren, 46, logged into an app linked to smart devices in the victim’s Lincolnshire home, and was able to see her ex’s new girlfriend on the property’s CCTV system.

Prosecutors said Copleston-Warren was able to tell the woman “to get out” and used the app to turn the bedside lights on and off.

At Isleworth crown court, Copelston-Warren admitted posting a naked photo of her ex-boyfriend on Facebook, accompanying it with the caption: “Do I look fat??? My daily question”.

The victim was unaware of the breach of his privacy until he began receiving concerned messages from friends in the early hours of 6 October 2019, shortly after the image was posted online.

Copleston-Warren sent the victim a message saying: “You might also want to remove your naked picture off Facebook.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said the new girlfriend also received four abusive messages on her dating account, apparently sent by the man. However he did not send the messages and later realised he had been locked out of his own account.

“Phillipa Copleston-Warren carried out a grave invasion of privacy. She left her victim feeling completely violated in his own home and online”, said Christian Meikle, from the CPS.

“Copleston-Warren did not take the image down when asked to do so and changed the password of the account to delay the victim gaining access. She also gloated about her actions on a WhatsApp group and threatened to send the nude image further afield to friends and business partners of the victim. The photo was eventually taken down by Facebook after it was reported as inappropriate.

“Posting naked images online in an act of revenge is illegal and offenders will be brought to justice. I hope this prosecution encourages others who have been affected by this type of conduct to come forward in the knowledge that they will be treated with respect, and that their reports will be taken seriously. The CPS is committed to tackling crimes of this nature.”

Copleston-Warren, from Chelsea, west London, appeared at Isleworth crown court by videolink to plead guilty to disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress.

Judge John Denniss adjourned sentencing until October 6. Copleston-Warren’s barrister, Jacob Bindman, told the court there was no “hacking” involved when his client gained access to the Alexa device and CCTV system.

“She had joint access to those accounts, had the passwords and login details, so it is absolutely incorrect to state there was any hacking,” he said.

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