Jealous husband used wall-mounted iPad in his 'smart home' to spy on estranged wife, court hears
Jealous husband used a wall-mounted iPad to spy on his estranged wife
A jealous husband used a wall-mounted iPad that controls the heating and lights in his home to spy on his estranged wife a court has heard.
Electronics expert Ross Cairns, 35, monitored the movements and conversations of spouse Catherine by logging into a static device remotely using his mobile phone.
The wall-mounted iPad had been installed by the couple as part of a home automation system at their house allowing them to access lighting, central heating and the alarm system when not at home.
But after they split up and Cairns moved out, he used an app on his iPhone to log into an audio facility on the iPad so he could eavesdrop undetected as 33-year old accountant Mrs Cairns talked of their crumbling marriage.
On one occasion when Mrs Cairns told her mother she no longer loved her husband, the father of two suddenly turned up on the doorstep and repeated the conversation she had just had, saying: "Oh, you don't love me any more."
He also hacked into Mrs Cairns' accounts on Facebook and the dating app Bumble and sent an intimate picture and obscene messages to men she had been chatting with online.
The details of the incidents emerged as Ross Cairns was convicted of offences of stalking.
Manchester magistrates' court heard the the couple had been married for 16 years and had two daughters now aged five and three.
Mrs Cairns told the hearing: "He repeated the conversation that I had with my mum. He said 'oh, you don't love me any more'. I told him that I would ring the police. I rang his mum to come to get him."
Mrs Cairns switched off the camera facility on the iPad and brought in an IT engineer to change the password on the system so Cairns could no longer access it - but the court heard he still logged in remotely.
Whilst she was on holiday she found her Bumble account had been blocked due to "inappropriate content" and discovered an intimate photo had been posted on her profile.
Prosecutor Neil White said: "They lived in a 'smart house' with various aspects of the property connected by an iPad-like device, including the alarm, lighting and heating.
"He has been accessing the system when they were living separately and listened in on conversations. We submit that hacking into her phone to send messages, and listening in on conversations is stalking."
Cairns had denied wrongdoing, claiming he only accessed the home system to change the lights or adjust the volumes on the TV and not to view into the house.
However, he was convicted of offences of stalking between August and November of last year and of using threatening behaviour towards his wife.
Cairns will be sentenced in June.