Jealous handyman, 58, who secretly bugged a gynaecologist’s car with a tracking device after she broke off their brief relationship admits stalking – and must now wear an electronic tag
- Kelvin James fitted a tracker to Dr Marie Gerval’s Renault Megane to stalk her
- Dr Gerval had asked James, 58, to carry out some work on her home’s guttering
- They embarked on a brief relationship which Dr Gerval ended in early 2022
- James, from Orrell, admitted stalking Dr Gerval at Wigan Magistrates’ Court
A leading gynaecologist’s car was secretly bugged by her jealous former handyman after he mounted a surveillance operation on her activities when she broke off their brief relationship.
Dr Marie Gerval, 52, drove her Renault Megane around the neighborhood unware 58-year-old tradesman Kelvin James had placed a tracker device on the engine to check if she was meeting up with other men.
Dr Gerval, who lives in London and treats women in specialist NHS menopause clinics, only found out she had been bugged after she was pulled over on suspicion of drink-driving when James tracked her to a local pub.
She passed a roadside breath test and when she asked why she had been stopped, police said an ‘anonymous caller’ had called them falsely claiming she was drunk behind the wheel.
Dr Marie Gerval, 52, began a brief relationship with her handyman Kelvin James who she had initially employed to inspect her guttering
Kelvin James, pictured outside Wigan Magistrates’ Court admitted stalking Dr Gerval by fitting a tracker to her Renault Megane car
The court heard James falsely reported Dr Gerval for drink-driving after she had met a friend at a bar near her home. After providing a negative roadside test, police told her they had pulled her over after receiving an ‘anonymous tip off’
Dr Gerval, pictured, said the stress of being stalked had given her alopecia
Suspicious the culprit was James as they were still meeting as friends, Dr Gerval confronted him and he admitted getting a local garage to install the tracker whilst he had borrowed it for an afternoon. She later said she was so distressed at being followed she suffered hair loss due to alopecia.
At Wigan Magistrates’ Court James from Orrell near Wigan who admitted stalking was ordered to wear an electronic tag to monitor his own movements under the terms of a 12-week curfew order from 7pm-7am.
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement he complete 13 rehabilitation activity days and was banned from contacting Dr Gerval for 12 months under the terms of a restraining order.
Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said: ‘Dr Gerval first met Mr James back in April 2020. She needed some work doing to the guttering and so looked for a tradesman through a directory app. She found James on the app and he carried out the work for her,
‘During this period they formed a relationship which developed into a romantic involvement, albeit for a short time. It lasted from about late 2020 to early 2021.
‘After their relationship ended, they maintained a distant friendship via text in the months after. In the summer of 2021, Gerval noticed that James was suffering with his mental health. Being a health professional and a friend she reached out to James and agreed to meet him.’
The court heard James borrowed Dr Gerval’s Renault Megane and returned it having fitted a tracker. After she received the car, Dr Gerval received a series of jealous texts from the handyman when she rebuffed his attempts to resume their relationship.
James from Orrell near Wigan who admitted stalking was ordered to wear an electronic tag to monitor his own movements under the terms of a 12-week curfew order from 7pm-7am
James, pictured, was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement he complete 13 rehabilitation activity days and was banned from contacting Dr Gerval for 12 months under the terms of a restraining order
On November 16, Dr Gerval went to meet a friend at the Britannia pub in the Upholland area of Lancashire. After leaving the pub she was pulled over by police on suspicion of drink-driving. She passed the breath test and was told they had received an ‘anonymous tip’ that she had been drunk.
James later admitted to fitting the tracker which would update him on Dr Gerval’s whereabouts.
The court heard James had a previous conviction for harassment from 1998.
In sentencing, chairman of the magistrate Jean Hamilton said: ‘Although this has clearly caused the complainant serious stress and harm it was a relatively isolated incident.’
James was also made to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £95. Magistrates rejected Gerval’s demand for compensation for alopecia care costs saying: ‘This is an issue better suited to the civil courts.’