Chivenor marine fined for mounting ‘perfect surveillance package’ on wife

Exeter Crown Court. Ref exeter crown court
Exeter Crown Court. Ref exeter crown court

A Chivenor Royal Marine corporal used three different electronic devises to mount a round the clock surveillance operation on his wife.

Scott Hatton became suspicious of his wife when she started running a business from home and used a camera, a tracker on her phone, and a GPS device in her car to spy on her.

His home was near RMB Chivenor and whenever he saw someone arriving at the house he would go there.

He even turned up at Saunton Sands beach where she had gone for a completely innocent meeting with a fellow Marine.

Hatton’s suspicions were unfounded but his wife realised gradually that she was being kept under surveillance and felt she was a prisoner in her own home.

Hatton, aged 46, admitted coercive and controlling behaviour and two counts of breaching a non molestation order and was fined £250 with £250 costs by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Cottle told him: “This kind of mental cruelty can be pretty unpleasant.

“She did suffer from the effects of your behaviour but I have very much in mind that all this finished a year ago and there has been nothing since.”

The judge made a restraining order forbidding any future contact other than making arrangements for his access to their two children.

Ian Graham, prosecuting, said Hatton became suspicious of his wife in 2016 when she started running a family business from home, which meant she had people visiting her.

The family already had a security camera monitoring the driveway of their home but Hatton changed its settings and linked it to his e-mail account so he could watch it at any time.

He left work at the nearby base and went home to check on his wife whenever he saw visitors.

He used the ‘Find my Phone’ app on her mobile to monitor her when she left home and in late 2016 he fitted a tracker device to her car.

Mr Graham said: “He used that to complete the elements of surveillance of his wife. It formed a complete surveillance package.

“The effect on his wife was serious and she had a growing realisation she was under surveillance and being bugged.

“She felt she was being watched constantly and found the surveillance oppressive.

“He would question her about where she had been, trying to catch her out.

“His turning up at her house or where she went had a serious effect on her day to day life. She felt she was in effect left isolated within her house.”

After they split up Hatton broke a court order to stay away from her by sending texts and meeting her in person while handing over the children after visits.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Hatton accepts the relationship is over. He is due to leave the Marines after 27 years and wants to move away from North Devon.

He said his wife had put the app on her phone herself because she kept losing it, and he had brought the tracker for a camper van which he was parked away from their house.


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