Man helped friend track ex-wife

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Hand holding a gavel in silhouette against a red grungy background.
Camera IconHand holding a gavel in silhouette against a red grungy background.

An Albany man who supplied his friend with a GPS tracking device so he could allegedly stalk his estranged wife has been fined $3000 after being warned of a jail term.

Adrian Craig Lee, 51, was sentenced to one count of unlawful use of a tracking device and two counts of possessing a controlled weapon when he appeared in Albany Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The court heard Lee handed the devices over and helped set them up so the woman’s movements could be tracked by her former husband, who installed the devices in the car she was driving.

Lee was charged after a police search of his home, where two extendable batons were also found.

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Defence lawyer Carolyn Smiddy-Brown said her client made a “poor decision” to help his friend who was going through a tough time during his marriage breakdown and the weapons were for his personal security.

She said the devices were originally bought to monitor the movement of Lee’s mother, who had dementia.

“He did not seek to impact the victim,” she said.

“It was a very bad decision but he didn’t go around tracking this woman, his friend did. He was convinced wrongfully at the time he wasn’t breaking the law.”

But Magistrate Tanya Watt refuted suggestions Lee was an assistant, labelling him an “instigator” of the offence of “extreme dishonesty” which affected someone’s civil liberty.

Sentencing was adjourned until Tuesday morning before Magistrate Watt fined Lee $3000.

The maximum fine for the charge is $5000.

He was also fined $600 for the two counts of possessing a controlled weapon.

Lee’s friend was also charged with unlawful use of a tracking device, pursuing another to intimidate and breaching a violence restraining order.

He will reappear in court today.

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