Grassmere man 'tracked wife's movements with GPS' court hears

Grassmere man Peter Gale 'tracked wife's movements with GPS' a Melbourne court has heard this morning.
Grassmere man Peter Gale 'tracked wife's movements with GPS' a Melbourne court has heard this morning.

WHEN his wife left him after 21 years of marriage and began seeing a new man, Peter Gale went out and bought a number of GPS tracking devices and a listening device, a court has heard.

Gale, 45, of Grassmere, near Warrnambool, attached one tracking device to his wife's car and another to her new partner's car.

He placed another GPS device and the listening device under the steering column of his wife's car wired to the vehicle's fuse box.

According to a prosecution summary attached to a preliminary Court of Appeal judgment handed down this morning, it was about 5.25am on October 28, 2012, when Gale's estranged wife was asleep in bed with her new partner in Casterton when they were woken by Gale standing at the end of their bed shining a torch in their faces.

Armed with an orange cattle prod, Gale shouted at the couple, "You f---ing c---s, you cheating c----s!".

Gale continued to shout and threaten his estranged wife's new partner with the cattle prod while she called the police.

At one point Gale told his estranged wife she would never see her children again before he left.

Police attended and later found the tracking devices attached to Gale's estranged wife's car and her new partner's car.

When interviewed by police, Gale admitted installing the devices in the cars.

"He indicated the mini disks, cables and laptops found at his premises were used in conjunction with the GPS devices for the purpose of tracking," the prosecution summary said.

In May last year, Gale pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool County Court to two charges of stalking and single counts of aggravated burglary and threatening to inflict serious injury. He was jailed for four-and-a-half years with a non-parole period of two-and-a-half years.

The court was told Gale had first installed the GPS tracking devices on his estranged wife's car on September 9, 2012, before attaching another GPS device on the rear bumper of her new partner's car on October 19.

He managed to change his estranged wife's computer log-in for the university course in nursing she was completing and started to turn up wherever she was.

Gale also accessed her mobile phone records, which caused her to twice change her mobile number before the October 28 incident involving the cattle prod.

The Court of Appeal's reserve Justice Bernard Bongiorno said on Friday that Gale wanted to appeal his conviction and sentence on the two stalking charges despite his guilty pleas, claiming he did not receive adequate legal advice.

Justice Bongiorno referred Gale's application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal for a hearing at a later date.



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