A Metropolitan Police officer who secretly recorded his ex-wife having sex with her new partner has been jailed.
A court heard Ainsley Francis, 57, placed a voice activated recording device in the bedroom of Barbara Stokoe.
He had bought the equipment on eBay, and was found with 187 audio recordings on his phone.
These included Ms Stokoe making phone calls, using the bathroom and even having sex.
Over a three-year period he allegedly sent threatening messages to Ms Stokoe and entered her home at will when she was on holiday.
A judge at Maidstone Crown Court sentenced Francis to 45 months in prison on Friday, saying his “malicious” actions were “breathtaking”.
Francis, who has served as a police officer for 29 years, admitted an offence of stalking, involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress at an earlier hearing.
Prosecutor Richard Job on Friday told the court that the offences took place between May 1 2014 and March 16 2017.
The couple first met in 1988, later separating in 2012 before enduring protracted and “acrimonious” divorce proceedings.
Each went to live in separate properties, one of four owned by the pair, but Francis would continue to visit his wife and their son William.
The divorced couple’s relationship soured after Ms Stokoe began a new relationship with a man named Anthony Lock.
Over a long period Francis began bombarding Ms Stokoe with emails and phone calls, including asking her for “compromising” photos of herself.
Mr Job added that the most “sinister” aspect of his offending was placing a secret recording device by her bed.
“An item that might be described in espionage movies or novels as a bug,” Mr Job said.
Ms Stokoe, who attended court on Friday, confronted her ex-husband who admitted he regularly entered her house in her absence.
Following his arrest, Francis said he had placed the device because he was “seeking to prevent the commission of crime”.