Dad walks free after filming ex having sex in Screwfix car park

Father of two Gavin Harper was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for two years
Father of two Gavin Harper was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for two years -Credit:Liverpool Echo

An "obsessed" former police officer who stalked his estranged policewoman wife to a Screwfix car park where he found her having sex with a police inspector has walked free from court.

Gavin Harper, 45, discovered the lovers in a Screwfix car park in Birkenhead after he secretly placed a tracker device on the underside of Stephanie Glynn’s vehicle.

Merseyside Police officers Ms Glynn, 40, and Inspector Andrew McLullich, 42, were naked from the waist down in the back of the latter’s car when Harper crept up and filmed them at the window with his mobile phone.

READ MORE: Police make Mercedes driver call taxi after they look inside car

READ MORE: These are the faces of criminals who were jailed this week

Prosecutors said it was the culmination of a campaign of “obsessive, intrusive and unwanted behaviour” against Ms Glynn from December 2020 to February 2021.

Last month a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found the father-of-two guilty of aggravated stalking which included secretly bugging Ms Glynn’s car, listening to her conservations, tracking her whereabouts and taking her phone without her permission.

The defendant and Ms Glynn met as Merseyside Police officers and were in a six-year relationship before they married in 2018.

But Ms Glynn left the family home in December 2020 after she grew close to her work mentor Mr McLullich, an acting chief inspector at the time and formerly her supervising sergeant.

Giving evidence, Harper said he wanted “undeniable proof” of the affair which he said Ms Glynn had persistently denied.

His intention was to pass the video to police as evidence of two serving officers having an inappropriate relationship during Covid lockdown restrictions, he said.

On Monday, Judge David Potter sentenced Harper to two years in jail, suspended for two years.

The judge told him he would have faced immediate custody but for the significant effect that imprisonment would have had on Harper’s elderly parents and youngest son.

His barrister told the court that Harper would lose his security job if jailed and would be unable to make his mortgage payments. His parents, who he informally cared for, would “not be able to cope” and his son would have to give up his university studies.

Judge Potter told Harper: “I am sure you became obsessed to the point of criminality in stalking Stephanie Glynn to provide evidence of her affair to weaponise that against her for having that affair, and you also became determined to destroy the career of Andrew McLullich.

“In that obsession the feelings, embarrassment and pain felt by Stephanie Glynn were collateral damage. You were more concerned about your own feelings and a raging sense of injustice.”

He said the events at Screwfix “do no credit to any of the people involved” and the incident was “rash, foolish, selfish and unprofessional”.

He said: “I am sure it has haunted them (Ms Glynn and Mr McLullich) and will continue to haunt them for many years.”

But he said their acts were “made worse” by Harper filming them on his mobile phone.

He said: “It was a further gross example of stalking designed to maximise their humiliation to your advantage. Your conduct was intended to maximise fear or distress. You resorted to stalking out of a sense of vengeance for being the victim of an affair. I am sure the distress caused to your victim has been very serious.”

But he added that there was “another side” to the defendant who had no previous convictions, and had suffered mental trauma himself.

Harper, of Liscard, Wirral, had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his Army service in the King’s Regiment and the Royal Military Police – before he joined Merseyside Police in 2001 – and also the circumstances of his arrest for stalking.

The court heard that Harper also became depressed after he was dismissed from Merseyside Police in April 2015 for gross misconduct – which he strenuously denied – over his failures to investigate an allegation of shoplifting “with due diligence”.

Suzanne Payne, defending, said Harper’s behaviour against Ms Glynn was “out of character and borne out of the circumstances at that time”.

A pre-sentence report said he presented a “low risk” of reoffending and a “medium risk” of harm to Ms Glynn and Mr McLullich, she said.

She added that Ms Glynn had received a written warning over her conduct in the Screwfix car park.

Judge Potter told the defendant: “The most significant factor that means your sentence will be suspended is the effect it would have on others, in particular your son and your parents. But for those circumstances you would be facing an immediate custodial sentence.”

Ms Glynn, now divorced, was said to be “sickeningly anxious” as a result of Harper’s stalking and told the jury she “constantly looked over her shoulder”, had changed her routes to work and had undergone counselling.

The judge issued Harper with seven-year restraining orders from contacting or approaching Ms Glynn and Mr McLullich.

Harper must also perform 200 hours of unpaid work and complete 20 days of rehabilitation.

The Crown offered no evidence over an allegation that Harper unlawfully wounded Mr McLullich in the Screwfix car park after jurors could not reach a verdict on that charge.

Don't miss the biggest and breaking stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here