A man travelled round Fife with a rope, hammer, pliers, and Darth Vader mask in the boot of a car, saying he wanted to use them to harm his ex-partner.
Kevin Spratley, 48, and two others drove round the kingdom searching for the woman and her new partner and any other associates they could track down.
Spratley told the car driver he had put together the kit to do the pair “some serious damage”.
They were caught when officers investigating the theft of a car pulled over their vehicle in Glenrothes.
He was already under a court order not to contact the woman in any way, having previously bombarded her with texts and emails, got her sacked from her job at a Chinese takeaway, made chilling threats of violence and repeatedly turned up at her home uninvited.
Sacked from takeaway
Spratley and the woman, also 48, had been involved in an “on-off” relationship which finally ended in January 2020, Falkirk Sheriff Court was told.
Spratley continued to contact his ex, using different mobile phones.
He referred to her as “taking to cheating like a duck to water” and added “when the hunter came and blew out the duck’s brain, no-one gave a f***”.
He threatened to “hit her where it will hurt – family and financially” and sent a message to the Chopsticks Chinese Takeway in Markinch.
He told bosses there she had a “severe issue with alcohol” and the business should be “extremely cautious” about continuing to employ her.
Shortly afterwards, they terminated her employment, on which she had been financially reliant.
In February 2020 Spratley turned up at her house in Kinglassie and tried to get in through her kitchen window, saying: “Let me in, you’ve got someone in there.
Then, he left her a voicemail saying: “Seen it all before, big, big, big, big, big mistake. Bye.”
Prosecutor Michael Maguire said the woman “perceived this as a threat”.
In other calls, Spratley asked her: “Are you ready to die? Hell is coming”.
He told her: “You’ve got 12 hours to get James out of the house or his wife and kids are going to know”.
Mr Maguire said the woman had no idea who “James” was.
Spratley then messaged saying he wished he was Hannibal Smith “as his plans always come together”, a reference to the character’s catchphrase in ’80s TV show The A-Team.
After he voice-messaged his victim’s mother and used obscenities, he was arrested and appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on March 2, 2020.
He was released on bail conditions not to approach or contact the woman in any way.
He continued to message her.
Sinister items in car boot
On March 12 2020 police conducting enquiries into a reportedly stolen car stopped a Vauxhall Corsa in Glenrothes.
Two men ran off, leaving the driver to talk to police.
In the boot, officers found a black rucksack containing a hammer, pliers, bolt cutters, a 16-inch long metal pole covered with tape, Sellotape, scissors, snips, a bungee cord, a black Darth Vader-style mask, and a rope.
Mr Maguire said: “The driver stated that the accused had approached him a few days prior, requesting that he drove him around in order to find his former partner and her new boyfriend.
“He said he had seen the accused placing a black rucksack in the boot before they went out driving.”
When the driver asked Spratley about the tools, mask and rope, Spratley said he was “going to do (her) and her new boyfriend some serious damage”.
The man said Spratley had been “travelling around Fife searching for them”, checking Facebook for her “possible associates”.
On the run
Spratley, by now on the run, WhatsApped his victim saying, “I’m going to jail anyway, so you’d better hope they get me before I get you, you dirty cow.”
Spratley was arrested after stealing a different car and abandoning it in Seton Road, Glenrothes, after speeding away from police.
An axe, with his DNA on it, was found under the driver’s seat.
Spratley, of Glenrothes, who appeared in the dock at Falkirk Sheriff Court, flanked by guards, pled guilty to engaging in a course of domestic abuse, including the allegation that he “did travel round Fife with a bag containing tools, a mask and rope, stating it was to harm” his victim.
He admitted car theft, possession of the axe and breach of bail.
Sheriff Derek Hamilton deferred sentence until May 4, continuing Spratley’s remand in custody.
He said: “Given the nature of this matter, I want to know a bit more about Mr Spratley.”
Solicitor-advocate Alan Jackson, defending, reserved mitigation.