Security firm boss hid tracking device in ex's handbag after she began new relationship, court hears

Telegraph Reporters
John Westwood was found guilty of charges of assault and harassment at Poole Magistrates' Court - BNPS

A security firm boss hid a tracking device in the lining of his ex-girlfriend's handbag after she started a new relationship, a court heard.

John Westwood, 57, is alleged to have planted the surveillance gadget in order to monitor the movements of former long-term partner Hazel Burnett.

When Ms Burnett, 40, found the device she confronted Westwood, who denied placing it in her handbag but did admit owning it as part of his business.

As Westwood moved his belongings out of their shared home in Bournemouth, Dorset, he tried to take the tracker with him but Ms Burnett kept in her possession over fears he would discard the "evidence", Poole Magistrates Court heard.

Ms Burnett suffered bruises and minor injuries to her arm and shoulder after she was grabbed by Westwood and forced up against a bedroom window.

Hazel Burnett said Westwood was constantly asking for details about her new partner Credit:  Roger Arbon/BNPS

The incident came to an end when her Ms Burnett's 18-year-old son entered the room and leapt onto his stepdad's back, grabbing him in a headlock.

The police were called and Westwood was arrested for assault.

The court heard the 57-year-old 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.

Magistrates heard Westwood also harassed John Major (pictured), the man his ex-partner had been seeing Credit: Roger Arbon/BNPS

He denied charges of assault and harassment but was found guilty following a trial at Poole Magistrates' Court. 

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.

Westwood will be sentenced next month at Poole Magistrates Court Credit: BNPS

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".

Westwood denied placing the tracker in her handbag. 

He admitted putting his hands on Ms Burnett but claimed he was "just trying to calm her down".

Westwood 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.

He will be sentenced next month.