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Domestic violence survivor feels betrayed after spy cam-abuser who made threats to kill was allowed to continue harassing her from jail

© Andrew CawleyNurse Stacy Drain, from Kirkintilloch, was abused by her jealous husband.
Nurse Stacy Drain, from Kirkintilloch, was abused by her jealous husband.

A violent abuser who left his wife fearing for her life continued terrorising her from jail and prison authorities could do nothing to stop it.

Critical care nurse Stacy Drain, 39, fled her Kirkintilloch home for a women’s refuge after violence and death threats from her obsessively jealous husband, Peter Clarke, 41, who set up cameras around their home so that he could watch her.

After being charged and remanded in custody, Clarke continued abusing his victim from a cell inside Barlinnie jail. Clarke was found guilt of engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of his partner or ex-partner by Glasgow Sheriff Court two weeks ago. The charges spanned between January 2021 and August 2022.

Years of terror and abuse

Stacy said: “After escaping years of death threats and violence, I thought I would get respite when Peter was remanded in prison. But he used the system to continue his relentless harassment from behind bars, leaving me physically shaking and paralysed with fear.

“I was told prison authorities could do nothing to stop his letters unless a non-harassment order was in place or he had been convicted.

“But getting such an order isn’t always as easy as it sounds and getting a conviction can take years.

“The system needs to change so that anyone facing accusations of domestic abuse is automatically prevented from contacting alleged victims.”

Peter Clarke, who was found guilty at court. © Andrew Cawley
Peter Clarke, who was found guilty at court.

Stacy told Glasgow Sheriff Court how she endured almost two years of terror and abuse by Clarke. He punched her and kicked her in the head, pressured her to take a £400 lie detector test, and then she discovered hidden cameras and surveillance devices watching her in her own home.

Obsessively jealous Clarke, an engineer, had previously demanded access to her mobile phone, calling numbers that he did not recognise. She said: “If a man answered, he was convinced I’d been out with him. He’d say he loved me. Then, in the next moment, he’d go berserk and punch me in the face. I constantly lived on tenterhooks, never knowing which Peter I’d be going home to, the man who said he loved me or the man who wanted to kill me with his bare hands.

“The final straw came when he demanded I take a £400 lie detector test to prove I was faithful to him. I refused and things turned extremely violent. I thought he was going to kill me. I was so afraid, I fled to a women’s refuge.”

Clarke was charged with abuse, but once held in prison on remand, he continued harassing Stacy by mail.

Stacy contacted the Scottish Prison Service to stop the letters, only to be told that they were effectively powerless.

She said: “I was told all the prison could do was ask him not to do it, but only when my MP got involved did the letters and packages stop. He’d been so brazen.”

‘I had no idea Peter had been freed’

In another major let-down, when Clarke was freed on bail last February, the criminal justice system failed to tell Stacy he’d been released. Stacy said: “I had no idea Peter had been freed. I had no idea that I should have been on high alert and watching out for him. Anything could have happened. It was a gross betrayal of a domestic abuse victim.”

She has since received an apology from Glasgow Procurator Fiscal Moira Orr.

Bail conditions prevented Clarke from being in Kirkintilloch.

Stacy said: “Peter rented a flat right on the town border. When I reported further alleged breaches of bail, police officers would argue whether he’d been over the town boundary.”

Stacy Drain. © Andrew Cawley
Stacy Drain.

Clarke posted a picture of “OJ Simpson’s bloodied glove”, the controversial evidence in the Nicole Simpson murder trial, which he said was supposedly “found in Kirkintilloch”.

And unbeknownst to her, Stacy was also being watched by cameras when she returned to the family home. Clarke managed to film himself as cameras were being set up.

A security firm called by Stacy to sweep the house found surveillance equipment hidden inside a Sky television box, in the loft, in a clock and elsewhere scattered around the property.

A sheriff sitting on his own will decide on alleged breaches of bail conditions this week. Clarke will be sentenced for a string of abuses at Glasgow Sheriff Court later this month. During his trial, Clarke told jurors that Stacy leaving for the women’s refuge was “nothing to do with me”.

He claimed he installed surveillance equipment due to “break ins” by his wife and her brother, and that the Sky box camera was put in place as video games had gone missing. He said: “I have never been physically violent to her at all, I have had arguments with her.”

The Scottish Prison Service said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, we work hard to manage individuals in a way which does not negatively impact on people in the community.

“This includes the ability to monitor and record phone calls, check addresses on envelopes, and conduct intelligence based searches. Where a concern is brought to our attention, we can also raise this with the individual in custody and take any appropriate action, including referring alleged criminality to Police Scotland.”

When will we wake up to what needs to be done?

Tony Bone.
Tony Bone.

By solicitor Tony Bone, a leading expert on domestic violence

This is yet another instance where the system continually lets down those it’s supposed to protect – victims.

Scotland has some of the worst domestic abuse figures and the poorest responses to a crime which should be given the same resources and treated with the same severity as terrorism.

Until we wake up to that fact, our society will never make any negligible difference to or prevent the scourge of domestic violence destroying the millions of lives touched by it every single day.

Domestic abuse is the number one cause of childhood trauma.

It inflicts unspeakable damage to a life.

The current system fails on every single level to stay in touch with each other.

There is no continuity, no cohesion. We have a system which actually helps someone like Clarke continue abusing even when they are behind bars.

While criminal courts are remanding abusers accused of violence, civil courts are awarding the same alleged perpetrator child access.

The damage that’s being done is frightening. It’s beyond frustrating.

Our police officers are investigating and behaving as they did 20 years ago instead of staying abreast of new methods abusers use to control, like electronic surveillance. They are not being given the resources to do what needs to be done.

Domestic abuse is the single biggest threat to society because of the effect it has, lowering achievement, leaving victims at high risk of depression, drugs or alcohol, deprivation and poor life skills, but we continue to rely on a 9-5 response for a 24/7 problem.

Scotland needs to get its act together and start making a difference. What happened in this case plays out in courts every single day across the whole country. When are we going to wake up to what needs to be done?