UK man jailed for stalking ex-girlfriend with Apple AirTag

It's not the first time the devices have been used for such purposes.
It's not the first time the devices have been used for such purposes. Photo credit: Getty Images

A man has been jailed in the UK for using Apple's controversial AirTag trackers to stalk his ex-girlfriend.

Christopher Trotman, from Swansea in Wales, was jailed for nine weeks after harassing his former partner including glueing an AirTag he ordered from Amazon to the rear bumper of the car.

According to the evidence provided in court, Trotman had been in a "controlling" relationship with the victim for more than a decade before splitting in August 2020.

As part of a campaign of harassment he bombarded his ex with phone calls and offered her money to quit her job in a bar as he was jealous of her talking to other men, the Daily Mail reported.

The victim first became aware of the AirTag in March when she bought an iPhone and received a notification asking if she wanted to connect to it.

She didn't know what that meant, so ignored it until her daughter also started getting notifications about the AirTag.

Eventually, she found one of the tracking devices glued in a cavity under the rear bumper and handed it to the police.

When originally approached by the authorities, Trotman said it was a joke, before admitting "I did track her. I still love her," the Mail reported.

According to the outlet, he was released on bail but later arrested again over allegations of witness intimidation.

Having spent the weeks leading up to the court case behind bars, he'll be released because he's already served his sentence on remand. He has also been given a restraining order forbidding him from contacting his ex again.

The size and relatively cheap cost of the AirTags has seen them linked to a number of cases of tracking people without their knowledge since their release last year.

Despite being similar to others on the market - Samsung, Oppo and Tile all make similar products - it appears the Apple devices have become a favoured tracking tool of the stalkers.

That included someone who tracked Ballers and Altered Carbon star Hannah Rose May for hours at Disneyland and a police officer who was suspended from duty for stalking his ex.

A woman in the US was also charged with murder after tracking her boyfriend to a pub and then running him over with her car.

Since launch, Apple has increased the visibility of AirTags, including adjusting warning frequency, as well as introducing Android software to allow those without iPhones to track them.