The case started in much the same way as most matrimonial cases. Our client was a female instigating divorce proceedings against her estranged husband. She suspected assets were being hidden from her knowledge by the husband, most notably a luxurious flat in an idyllic commuter town.
Thought “case closed” Initially, the client instructed us to place the husband under surveillance to identify his new residence. After two weeks with a covert surveillance team deployed in some particularly challenging conditions, the husband’s luxury new residence was confirmed.
With the husband’s new address established and ownership of the property confirmed, the client’s solicitor presented our evidence to the estranged husband’s solicitor. Usually unless any further investigation work is required, this would be the end of the case for us and we would leave the solicitors and client to carry on with the rest of the divorce proceedings.
However, this case then took a more sinister turn. Our client received a threatening phone call from the husband, who was rather upset at having his luxury new home found out about and being added to an already valuable list of assets to be shared during the divorce. The husband told our client he intended to visit her at her home (their former marital home so he already knew the address) and confront her about her use of an investigator to gather evidence of his assets. The client was aware the husband was due to go abroad the following week for business, so believed his threat to pose an immediate risk to her and her two young children. The client then called us, understandably upset and concerned about the husband’s threats, seeking advice and asking how we could assist.
Preventative measures We immediately set up an action plan to put in place measures to protect the client, utilising our experience from both matrimonial investigations and the team’s previous experiences of dealing with domestic issues in the police:
1. We advised the client to report the threats to the local police and ask for appropriate police measures to be put in place should the husband arrive unexpectedly at her address. An incident number was obtained for future reference and telephone markers put on the client’s numbers that would immediately flag up the incident number to the police control room staff if our client had reason to call in an emergency.
2. We then arranged for a reputable local security engineer to attend the client’s property that same day and conduct a security assessment of her home. Whilst the property’s security systems and locks were of a generally good standard, the engineer identified some areas where basic improvements such as outdoor lighting and stronger locks would make the property more secure.
3. In agreement with our client, we put in place protective surveillance on her property. The client lived on a large estate with only one access road in and out, allowing us to place a covert observation platform covering the entrance to the estate to monitor if the husband arrived unexpectedly. The positioning of the observation platform provided enough time for our team to call the client and notify her of the husband’s presence before he physically reached her address.
4. Our team was also briefed that should the husband arrive at the estate, after notifying the client, they would also notify the local police using the incident number our client had obtained.
The action plan remained in place for the rest of the week until the client was able to confirm the husband had travelled abroad for business as expected. Whilst thankfully the husband didn’t follow through with his threat, our actions provided some much-needed reassurance and peace of mind for our client.
Article submitted by Full Member F1824 Richard Hampson of Borough Investigations Ltd. For further info see: https://www.boroughinvestigations.co.uk/