A martial arts coach who convinced his partner he was an MI6 agent had a fake passport in the name of his fictional alter ego, a court heard this week.
The woman said Peter Moran, 56, used spyware on her phone to “track my every move” during their five-year relationship – and for months after they split.
He bombarded her with messages, some detailing of her phone use, demanding to account for messages and falsely accusing her of cheating on him.
He also turned up at her home and workplace, sometimes with a bunch of flowers demanding a reconciliation, sometimes hurling abuse, and once banging on her windows until she returned his engagement ring.
She said she finally called police after seeing the extent of his cyber-surveillance on his computer screen when she visited his flat to plead with him to leave her alone.
And his “parting shot” was to shout threats that he would email intimate pictures of them to her friends and colleagues if she called the cops.
Moran is on trial for stalking, possessing a fake passport and possessing cannabis, all of which he denies.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a jury at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday: “About six months after we met, he started to introduce the fact he did something else for a living, other than sports coaching.
“He said he was part of MI6, an active member and he was often called away for missions.
“It was so insidious and so slow and the detail around it was so in depth that I began to believe it and to be honest, I thought why would you want to make this stuff up and get caught out?
“The stories became very elaborate and detailed and he would disappear supposedly because he was on a mission somewhere and in a dangerous situation.”
The pair met in 2015, and embarked on a five-year relationship during which Moran’s behaviour became increasingly erratic.
She said he would disappear for weeks at at time without any contact and then turn up with no explanation.
And he would expect her to drop everything to do what he wanted her to do – which she learned to agree to in order to avoid provoking an angry outburst, until it became “her normal”.
She said he would sometimes take her phone off her, saying he was cleaning it up for her, and she believed this was then he installed spyware apps on it.
On at least one occasion, he showed her videos of her screen as she had been scrolling through Facebook, interrogating her over videos she had watched.
It was only when her adult son moved in with her and saw how he was acting that she realised how controlling he had been – what she called her “lightbulb moment”.
In November 2019, she messaged him to say that she wanted nothing more to do with him, and told him not to contact her any more.
It was then he began to bombard her with emails, WhatsApp and Facebook messages, phonecalls and texts, using new numbers or accounts when she blocked him.
She admitted replying to a few messages, when he accused her of cheating, in order to protest her innocence.
On 31 January 2020, she went to his flat in Downland Drive, Hove, first telling her son where she was going.
She said: “He had a big television screen connected to his computer and I noticed there were lots of tabs open along the bottom which all had my face and name on, all of them, which concerned me quite a lot.
“I told him to stop messaging me or I would call the police . . . He started pacing and I told him I was going to leave and he became aggressive and spitting in my face and literally foaming at the mouth and calling me vile names.
“He said you’re not going to leave without my help. He was blocking the door and I couldn’t go out.
“Eventually he moved and as his parting shot, he said I’m going to email [intimate] photos and videos of us to your friends and your work.”
She reported him to the police the same day, and when a police officer came to take a statement the following day, Moran called her on an unknown number.
She said: “I showed the officer the messages and the screenshots of the tracking and I think that was when the policeman began to think this was a bit more serious than he had first anticipated.”
About 15 minutes after the officer left, Moran again turned up at her flat. She called the mobile number the officer had given her, and Moran was arrested soon afterwards.
Prosecuting, Simon Shannon said: “Police conducted a search of his address and found two items.
“The first was a small amount of cannabis along with a partially smoked cannabis joint.
“The second was a British passport with Mr Moran’s face in the name of Raven Clay, with a date of birth a week after his.”
He added: “The Crown understands Mr Moran’s defence is that his ex has turned the tables on him by saying he stalked her.
“He is likely to say that the woman controlled him and was violent towards him and mentally abused him.
“As regards the false passport, it was part of a role play that the women was involved in and Raven Clay was a fictitious MI6 operative that he pretended to be and his ex knew that and indulged in that role play with him.
“He does not accept the cannabis was his.”
The trial continues.