A security guard bugged his estranged wife’s home as part of a campaign of harassment when their marriage broke down, a court heard.
Paul Loseby, 47, placed a listening device in an electrical socket and used it to monitor conversations after he was forced to leave the family home.
A court heard Loseby also “bombarded” his former partner with abusive voicemail messages in which he threatened to break into the house and her ordered her not to go on dating websites.
In another message he told her: “You are dead.”
Peter Yates, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that Loseby’s wife had complained of him being physically and mentally abusive throughout their 18-year marriage due to his drinking.
Mr Yates said Loseby’s wife ended the relationship and the harassment began when they were living apart.
Between October 8 to 15 this year Loseby left 25 voicemails which left the victim distressed.
The prosecutor said she also became suspicious after occasions in which she had conversations with her son before Loseby would then send text messages quoting verbatim what had been said.
The listening device was then found in the electrical socket in her son’s bedroom.
The court heard Loseby approached his wife at a cash machine and accused her of “sleeping around.”
Mr Yates said Loseby also commented to members of a mental health crisis team that he was going to stab his wife in the stomach.
Loseby, of Wood Lane, Rothwell, was arrested and held in custody on remand four weeks ago.
He pleaded guilty to putting a person in fear of violence or harassment. The court heard he has a previous conviction for burglary in 2002.
Kate Batty, mitigating, said Loseby had lost his security badge with G4S as a result of his behaviour.
The barrister said Loseby was also closely involved with his local working men’s club in Rothwell and helped organise a Pubwatch Scheme.
Miss Batty said Loseby accepted he had placed the listening device but had initially done so to monitor his son, He accepted he then used it to in order to monitor his wife.
She told the court that Loseby made the voicemail threats whenever he got drunk as he turned to alcohol to cope with being apart from his family.
She said: “It started in the evening and got worse into the early hours of morning.”
Loseby was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to take part in a 20-day activity programme to address his offending and was made the subject of an electronically monitored curfew for 12 weeks.
Recorder Simpson told Loseby he regarded the placing of the bugging device as a serious feature of the case.
He said: “It is gross intrusion of privacy, the fact that you listened to that information.
“You could not resist letting them know that you had the power and control of knowing something that they knew.”
He added: “This is not a soft option. You are a mature man but you have behaved very foolishly and criminally in the last few months.”