A jealous serial stalker has been jailed after he travelled around Fife with a rope, hammer, pliers and a Darth Vader mask in the boot of a car, saying he wanted to use them to harm his former partner.
Kevin Spratley had already warned the woman: “Hell is coming”.
He was jailed for 37 months on Tuesday.
The 48-year-old bombarded his ex with texts and emails, got her sacked from work, repeatedly turned up at her home uninvited and made chilling threats of violence.
Sheriff Derek Hamilton, who noted Spratley had three previous convictions for stalking, said the items he had been travelling round with were “sinister” and his behaviour “extremely disturbing”.
‘Hit it where it will hurt’ threat
The former gas engineer continued to contact her using a number of different mobile phones.
He threatened to “hit her where it will hurt – family and financially” and sent a message to the Chopsticks Chinese Takeway in Markinch, Fife, where she worked, claiming she had a “severe issue with alcohol”.
Her boss shortly afterwards terminated her employment, on which she had been financially reliant.
A month after they broke up, Spratley turned up at the woman’s house in Kinglassie, shouting “You are scum” at her bedroom window.
Later, he tried to get in through her kitchen window.
He left her a voicemail saying, “Seen it all before, big, big, big, big, big mistake. Bye.”
Prosecutor Michael Maguire said she “perceived this as a threat.”
Backpack of sinister items
In other calls, Spratley asked her: “Are you ready to die? Hell is coming”.
After he voice-messaged the woman’s mother, calling her daughter a “dirty, filthy whore”, he was arrested and appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on March 2, 2020, and released on bail conditions not to approach or contact her in any way.
He continued to message her and ten days afterwards, 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 items, Spratley said he was going to do the woman and another man “some serious damage”.
The man said Spratley had been “travelling around Fife searching for them”, checking Facebook for “possible associates” of the woman.
Arrested with axe in car
Spratley, by now on the run, WhatsApped her saying: “I’m going to jail anyway, so you’d better hope they get me before I get you, you dirty cow.”
He was arrested after stealing a different car and abandoning it in Seton Road, Glenrothes, after speeding away from police.
An axe was found under the driver’s seat.
Spratley, of Glenrothes, who appeared in the dock flanked by guards, admitted domestic abuse, car theft, possession of the axe, and breach of bail.
Alan Jackson, defending, said a report revealed Spratley had “problems with rejection, and insecurities which might be said to stem from difficulties he had as a child”.
He said his relationship with his eventual victim had been “underpinned by mistrust and jealousy”.
The jail term was backdated to March 2020 when Spratley was first remanded and he was given a year’s supervised release order.
He showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.