A MAN has described how he considered taking his own life because of the stress caused by a stalker who hid a tracking device on his car, a court heard.

Nicola Manning went to the extent of leaving a listening device in her ex-partner's home, which was disguised as an iPhone charger and was often taken by his son and plugged into his room.

Manning, 32, was sentenced at Cardiff Magistrates Court on April 25 for stalking offences committed from January to September 2022.

The court heard how NHS worker Manning and the man began a “loving” relationship started in August 2021, which broke down over Christmas, and was rekindled in the New Year. But it was then that Manning told the man she’d hired a private investigator to track his movements.

The relationship ended in summer 2022 - but this wasn't the end of Manning's offending.

Manning planted tracking devices in the man's car, and a listening device in his house that was often taken by his son to his bedroom.

In mitigation, it was explained that even if Manning confronted the victim and he told her there was nothing to worry about that she still felt she could not trust him.

‘What will it take for Nicola to stop this pattern of behaviour. Will it be when a man takes his own life’

Speaking in court, the victim regularly paused as emotion overwhelmed him while he asked what extent would a man have to go to to stop Manning behaving in this way.

“What will it take for Nicola to stop this pattern of behaviour?” he asked. “Will it be when a man takes his own life?

“Throughout our relationship all I tried to do was love and support Nicola. I was abused and put down.

“Before her arrest I was having a mental breakdown and off from work with anxiety and depression.

“She will never understand the damage she caused. I cut myself off from family and friends and became isolated.

“Nicola has never shown remorse and stated on social media she would do it again.”

They use the same gym at the same time

A difficult facet of the case was both Manning and the victim use the same gym in Barry, at the same time, and neither seemed willing to budge on their schedules.

The victim described how the only place he went in the midst of his depression was the gym, while Manning said the gym was all she had, and she could not handle change.

She was so passionate about her gym-going that Manning spoke directly to magistrates.

“I struggle hugely with change,” said Manning. “I do not deal with it very well and the gym has been my saviour since losing my nan. The gym is my everything. I do not have children or parents.”

Suspended prison sentence

Manning, of Laburnam Close, Barry, pleaded guilty to stalking without fear in March at Cardiff Magistrates.

On April 25, at court, she was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

She was placed under a restraining order with conditions including not to contact her former partner directly or indirectly by any means including social media, or to attend his home address or place of employment.

She is prohibited from entering information referring directly, or by necessary implication to the man on any electronic device or social media.

She was also made to pay £239 in costs and surcharges.

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