A car dealer stalked his wife for more than four years over suspicions she was carrying on a secret affair with his business partner.
Business owner Scott Ennis secretly filmed her in the bedroom, recorded her work conversations with a hidden microphone and deployed a member of his staff to spy on her.
Louisa Ennis had no idea what was going on until she spotted a mystery device showing up on her wi-fi router and discovered it was her husband’s spy camera.
She realised live footage of their bedroom was being streamed from a bedside digital alarm clock her husband had given her as a gift and set up himself.
Ennis was also using mobile phone technology to covertly track his wife’s movements as his secret stalking campaign ran from January 1 2015 until August 2 2019.
Employee followed wife
Perth Sheriff Court was told on Thursday Ennis repeatedly sent one of his employees to follow his wife and take photos and videos of her without her knowledge.
Ennis, who had financial difficulties with his used car business Roundal Group, suspected she was cheating on him with his partner David Welsh.
Fiscal depute Gail Russell told the court the decade-long marriage was failing and Mrs Ennis did start a new relationship with Mr Welsh in 2019, after leaving her husband.
She said employee Adam Horton had come forward to admit the part he had played in the spying campaign because he was ashamed of what he had agreed to do for Ennis.
Mrs Russell told the court Ennis was the owner of Roundal Car Dealership in Tullibardine, where his wife was a bookkeeper and David Welsh was also employed there.
He said Ennis gave his wife a digital arm clock as a gift.
“He set it up and positioned it facing the bed.
“It stayed there until she moved out in May 2018. He again set up the digital clock in the bedroom.
“She accessed the router and saw a device she didn’t recognise. This took her to a live feed from the digital clock which had a camera within it.
“It was a livestream of the bed. She had a WhatsApp conversation with the accused and confronted him.”
Followed down country road
She said Mr Welsh spotted the box for the clock in the office and quit his job, while Mrs Ennis then noticed the bins had been moved within her garden.
Checks showed Ennis was parked nearby and on other occasions it was apparent he was driving a short distance behind her on a quiet country road near her home.
The court heard how he pressed Mr Horton into finding out where Mr Welsh was living after it became apparent he was involved in a relationship with Mrs Ennis in 2019.
Mr Horton was sent in a van to park nearby and take video as Ennis said he wanted proof that they were now a couple.
“He repeatedly asked him to spy on her,” Mrs Russell said.
“Over a period of several months the accused would ask Adam Horton to check her home address. He was given a phone number and asked to check activity on WhatsApp.”
Microphone under desk
Mr Horton eventually contacted Mr Welsh because he felt so guilty and that led to the discovery of a microphone device under the desk where Mrs Ennis had worked.
“Adam Horton apologised and said he was ashamed that he had been instructed by the accused to follow her.
“He had been instructed to follow them and take photos and videos.”
Police were called and a search of Ennis’ internet history showed he had been carrying out research on bugging devices, iPhone software and covert spying equipment.
When he was quizzed by officers, Ennis said: “I believed my wife to be cheating on me with my ex-business partner.”
The court heard Ennis left the company in 2019.
Ennis, 50 of Auchterarder, admitted engaging in a course of conduct which caused fear and alarm in various locations across Perth and Kinross between January 2015 and August 2019.
He admitted installing a covert camera and a microphone recording device to secretly watch and listen to his wife’s movements and conversations without her knowledge.
He admitted tracking her using iPhone technology, moving items in her garden, and getting his employee to walk past her home to record her in the company of Mr Welsh.
Sheriff William Wood told Ennis: “Clearly your conduct has been despicable. This course of conduct was over a four and a half year period.
“I will get a report and a victim impact statement. Your wife will have an impact on what the court decides but it won’t be the determining factor.”
He deferred sentence for social background reports and warned Ennis that he should make arrangements to prepare for a prison sentence.