A stalker who attached a GPS tracker to his ex-girlfriend’s car narrowly avoided prison when he was sentenced on Tuesday (11).

Lee Chaney, 25, of Lectern Lane, St Albans, appeared at the city’s magistrates’ court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to stalking his ex-girlfriend.

The court heard that the pair, who have a young daughter together, ended their three-year relationship in March.

But Chaney was arrested and charged in July after police found that his phone and DNA were linked to a GPS tracker attached to the bottom of his ex’s car for two weeks.

Ms Praveen, prosecuting, told the court that his ex-girlfriend became suspicious when Chaney would contact her regarding her whereabouts or turn up in situations.

She referred to an incident on July 4 when she was in her car outside her Kings Langley home and looked up to see Chaney, who then mouthed ‘oh f***’ upon realising he had been spotted.

Ms Praveen also mentioned a text message that the victim received on July 17 saying ‘I know you’ve gone straight home you better not have that f***ing guy there’.

Ms Praveen went on: “His behaviour is stalking behaviour. She has expressed that she is obviously scared of his actions.”

Judge Stuart Miller agreed that his behaviour was out of the ordinary and said: “I’ve read the case papers and I’m very disturbed by what I’ve read.”

The probation officer told the court that at the time of the stalking Chaney was going through a difficult period. She added that Chaney was six weeks into a new relationship with a new part-time job as a personal trainer.

Judge Miller responded: “Does he not have any idea how serious this is? I’m seriously thinking about sending him to prison today.”

After deliberating about the sentence. Judge Miller said: “You have heard what I’ve said, I think you have got overriding psychological issues which have caused you to think this way.

“You can’t behave towards other people like this, no matter what’s happened. You have stalked this lady and caused her severe psychological damage.”

He went on: “You’re ill. Do you think that’s normal behaviour?”

Chaney responded to the question and stated that it was a ‘moment of madness’. Judge Miller said: “That’s not a moment of madness that’s a pattern of behaviour.”

Chaney was given a three month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs and compensation of £350.

Before handing Chaney his suspended sentence, Judge Miller said: “How do you feel about going to prison? Because I’m sending you there today.”

Judge Miller then added that it was a suspended prison sentence. He went on: “One more bad move on your part and you’re going to prison.”

He said: “Make sure we never see you again in this court. You were that close to going to prison today. And leave her alone, move on.”