South Shields woman admits campaign of harassment against her ex-husband
Louise Begg, 44, even told police that Nigel Begg, founder of Aspire Technology Solutions, which has a site in Hebburn, was taking their three youngsters abroad without her consent.
After a barrage of calls, texts and emails, she arranged for officers to intercept him at the airport.
An embarrassed Mr Begg managed to convince armed officers the trip was agreeed and was allowed to go on holiday.
But he was then stunned when he received a phone call from the authorities while in Turkey to advise him a bid had been made to cancel his passport.
More on this story: Business boss tells of airport drama after ex-wife tried to cancel his passportBegg, of Westmorland Road, South Shields, admitted harassing her husband, and was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 surcharge.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court were told Begg regretted her “drastic measures” and she told police she now “feels like a fool”.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “It’s quite an unusual case. They were obviously husband and wife, have three children, separated in 2013 and later got divorced.
“Mr Begg remarried and they have shared custody. Mr Begg started to receive unwanted emails and texts, not in relation to child care arrangements, containing false allegations against him.
“When he failed to respond, she pestered him by ringing him. Although he ignored the calls, this started to become draining after a while.
“He and his current wife arranged to take the children on holiday from Newcastle Airport on June 11.
“While they were in the departure lounge they were approached by police officers, and Mr Begg was told his ex-wife had reported that he was taking the children abroad without her consent.”
He was able to show police text messages, which made it clear that his ex-wife had consented to him taking the children on holiday.
But Mr Anderson said: “While in Turkey, Mr Begg received a phone call from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs saying that an application had been made to cancel his passport.
“He became increasingly worried while trying to get things sorted and make sure he could come back home.
“He then got a text message from Begg which left him feeling deflated by her actions.”
He said: “Begg was interviewed by police, admitting that she had entered her ex-husband’s name and address on the lost passport website, because she had not wanted him to take the children away.
“She accepted they had agreed he could take the children on holiday, and thought her actions would stop him taking that flight. That’s what she was hoping to do.
“She said she’d rang his phone 20 times while he was at the airport. She said he’d sent her messages too, but had deleted them. She said she felt ashamed and a fool and regretted doing all of this.”
Mr Anderson added: “Mr Begg is not seeking to impose a restraining order. He wants what’s best for the children.”
Begg admitted harassing Nigel Begg between June 10 and 30 last year.
Duncan Emmerson, defending, said: “When the couple split, it seems that arrangements were amicable.
“The children’s father did actually take them away, not last year but the year before, and Mrs Begg was perfectly happy about that.
“She was provided full details of where they were going. He seemed very cagey last year about providing these details. It made her rather concerned. Perhaps in the cold light of day, overly concerned.
“This is where it spiralled out of control. She took drastic measures and she told police in due course that she now feels like a fool.
“It is very tragic that it’s ended up in the court forum. She is of impeccable character and has a responsible job. This was a rash decision she made because of misguided concerns.”