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Loner who stalked colleague avoids prison despite breaking restraining order within days

A MAN began pestering a former colleague just days after he had been made subject to a restraining order for stalking her.

Blackburn magistrates heard Gary Clawson bombarded the woman with telephone calls and was then caught on CCTV outside her home.

And the magistrates, who made him subject to a community order, told him it was his last chance to avoid prison.

Clawson, 47, of Holme Lane, Rawtenstall, pleaded guilty to breach of a restraining order. He was made subject to a community order for two years with 30 days’ rehabilitation. He was fined £80 with £95 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

The court had previously been told that within days of starting work as a volunteer at a garden centre Clawson became “obsessed” with a female colleague.

Blackburn magistrates heard Clawson misinterpreted the woman giving him a lift home and began stalking her.

He passed her notes saying he wanted to be friends outside work and told her not to tell her husband.

Despite repeatedly being told no and being told he was no longer welcome at the garden centre Clawson persisted.

And his victim said the final straw came when he left a note on the railings at her son’s nursery school saying she should die.

Jade Coleman, prosecuting, said the breach came just days after the restraining order was imposed. He made repeated phone calls to the garden centre and was ten seen by a neighbour outside the victim’s home.

“He was in possession of a handwritten note which was directed at the victim,” said Miss Coleman.

She detailed previous convictions for harassment involving different victims and breaches of subsequently imposed restraining orders.

Robin Phoenix, defending, said his client had not been in any kind of trouble until 2011.

“It seems he forms attachments to people,” said Mr Phoenix.

“They do not seem to be of a sexual nature but just because he is very lonely and sees people who express friendship towards him in a different light.”

Mr Phoenix said the last of the defendant’s parents, his mother, had died in March and that had a massive impact.