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Grandmother finds a listening bug in her BED and catches trusted neighbour, 59, trying to remove it 

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A grandmother has shared CCTV footage of the moment her stalker neighbour was caught trying to remove secret listening devices he had planted in her home – including one on her bed.

William Nolan, 59, and his wife had been trusted with their 64-year-old neighbour Leigh Jones’ house key in Erdington, Birmingham, so they could feed her two cats while she was away.

But the grandmother-of-one was horrified when she found a voice recorder taped under her coffee table – and then another behind the headboard in her bedroom.

Widow Ms Jones then set up covert webcams to catch the stalker, who later returned to collect the recording kit he had planted.

The grandmother also carefully hoovered her carpet in one direction to capture the snooper’s footprints.

When Ms Jones watched back the footage she caught Nolan in her home, retrieving the spyware recorders, and called the police.

The married former security guard admitted stalking without fear/alarm/distress and was jailed for 15 weeks at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on May 25.

The judge described the case as one of the most serious ‘stalking’ offences he had ever seen. 

William Nolan, 59, had been trusted with their 64-year-old neighbour Leigh Jones' house key in Erdington, Birmingham. Pictured: Nolan retrieving listening devices from the home

William Nolan, 59, had been trusted with their 64-year-old neighbour Leigh Jones’ house key in Erdington, Birmingham. Pictured: Nolan retrieving listening devices from the home

Widow Ms Jones then set up covert webcams to catch the stalker, who later returned to collect the recording kit he had planted.

Widow Ms Jones then set up covert webcams to catch the stalker, who later returned to collect the recording kit he had planted.

Brave Ms Jones, who is speaking out to raise awareness of the seriousness of stalking, said: ‘I felt totally violated – Bill’s trade is CCTV and security and things like that so that was also worrying.

William Nolan, 59, from Erdington, Birmingham

William Nolan, 59, from Erdington, Birmingham

‘I wasn’t scared of Bill as a person because I’ve never had cause to be scared. My only worry was there anything else planted.

‘To this day I still don’t know whether there is.

‘I just felt uncomfortable putting my underwear out in the garden, just the thought of him watching.

‘For me, for somebody to put a recording device on your headboard there’s only one reason why they want to do that and that’s a sexual reason – something only a perv would do.

‘I want to make people aware that you can’t trust anyone – after being neighbours for 30 years, being widowed, and then him doing this to me.’

The retired practice manager lived next door to father-of-four and grandfather-of-two Nolan for about 30 years.

She said they were ‘normal, friendly neighbours’, would chat regularly and trusted each other.

Nolan had a spare key to Ms Jones’ house, so his family could feed her cats Bellamy and Sami when she visited her partner in Nottingham, every week.

A recording device planted on Ms Jones' headboard by Nolan. Ms Jones said it was something 'only a perv would do'

A recording device planted on Ms Jones’ headboard by Nolan. Ms Jones said it was something ‘only a perv would do’

‘We’d talk on a weekly basis – just neighbour things like how are we, how’s life, how are things in general,’ she added.

‘I felt I could trust him with the keys to my house when I was out to feed my cats.’

She was having dinner at her home with her partner, 64, when he found a black plastic box under the table, held by double sided tape, on November 7.

She initially thought it might be one of her grandson’s toys, but soon realised it was spyware, following an internet search.

It had a microphone and an on/off switch, with a port where a USB cable could be connected, in order to access the recorded audio data.

Ms Jones said: ‘I was so upset and so panicky but my main concern was were they live listening devices, but we found they were recorders.

‘Then we thought how’s it got there, who’s put it there, and the next thing we thought was are there any more?

The grandmother also carefully hoovered her carpet in one direction to capture the snooper's footprints (pictured)

The grandmother also carefully hoovered her carpet in one direction to capture the snooper’s footprints (pictured)

‘We took the pictures off the wall, turned the settee upside down and looked in every foreseeable place in the living room.’

They went upstairs to the bedroom and, sure enough, they found one stuck behind the headboard on the bed.

She said: ‘We slept very little and thought whoever planted them needs to come back to get them so you can play back back via the laptop.

‘We thought we need to catch them.’

The next day they reported the discovery to West Midlands Police, but were told with no sign of forced entry, she would need further evidence.

Ms Jones then raced to the shop to buy some cameras to try and catch the stalker.

She told Nolan’s wife that she would be out on Thursday afternoon until Friday morning, and left home.

And just half an hour later, her male neighbour was recorded frantically searching for his missing devices, as can be seen in the clip.

Speaking of his return, Ms Jones said: ‘The first thing I did was go upstairs and there were large footprints on the landing and by the bed so I knew somebody had come looking for the second device.’

The mum-of-one rewound the footage to around 3pm on Thursday – when Nolan’s wife left to get their grandchildren from school – and caught him on camera.

She said: ‘At 3:23pm I heard the front door open and caught him on camera.

‘He went straight to the coffee table and I thought ‘I’ve got him’.’

Footage shows him panicked, rummaging through the kitchen drawer and then going out of shot briefly – to look for the device that was on her headboard.

She called her son, 32, to go and confront the Nolans.

She said: ‘I went next door spoke to them about it and he went ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’.

‘His wife said maybe he was looking for the cats, and I said ‘what, under the coffee table?’

Ms Jones called the police and submitted her evidence, and they arrested William Nolan on December 18 2020.

She said he initially maintained he was looking for the cats in the video footage.

But he pleaded guilty to the charge and was jailed last month.

Judge David Wain described the case as one of the most serious ‘stalking’ offences he had ever seen, but blasted the CPS for its choice of charge, saying the decision severely constrained his sentencing powers.

It meant the maximum sentence he could impose was 26 weeks, but he reduced it to 15 weeks due to Nolan’s guilty plea and personal mitigation.

The convicted stalker was ordered to pay £300 compensation and was banned from contacting his victim under an indefinite restraining order.

According to the Birmingham Mail, the judge said: ‘Putting one on the coffee table was bad enough but putting one on her headboard understandably caused her the most amount of distress imaginable.

‘The safety she felt in her own home was destroyed.

‘On discovery of the devices she said she was hysterical that someone wanted to listen to her personal conversations.

‘She felt sick to the stomach about the one on the headboard. That’s perfectly understandable.’

In mitigation, Pallo Bailey, said his client’s wife remained ‘supportive’ but added his behaviour had put a ‘strain’ on their marriage.

Of Nolan’s reduced sentence, Ms Jones said: ‘I was disappointed but very happy that he’s been sent down for such a sick act.

‘Family and friends say it’s like something out of a crime book. Even the judge said he’s never dealt with such a serious case of stalking.

‘I was widowed about two years ago and I’ve now got a new partner so I don’t know if that had anything to do with what he was doing.’

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