WITHIN days of starting work as a volunteer at a garden centre a man became "obsessed" with a female colleague.

Blackburn magistrates heard Gary 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 sons nursery school saying she should die.

Clawson, 47, of Holme Lane, Rawtenstall, pleaded guilty to stalking and breach of bail. He was remanded in custody for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Leigh Morgan, prosecuting, said after Clawson started working as a volunteer at the garden centre they did a couple of shifts together and she gave him a lift home because it was on her way.

"He started contacting her to such an extent that she started to feel uncomfortable," said Ms Morgan.

"She stopped talking to him but he then handed her a card asking her not to tell their boss or her husband and asking her to be his friend.

"She felt drained because he was so persistent."

Ms Morgan said colleagues tried to keep him away from the victim but he kept passing her messages. He was finished at the garden centre but kept ringing trying to speak to her.

On one occasion he told a member of staff he knew she was in because he could see her car.

"At this point she was terrified and concerned for her safety," said Ms Morgan.

"On another occasion he turned up when she was walking to school to collect her son and as a result of that she gave them a photograph of him so she could be notified if anything occurred.

"The very next day they contacted her about the note left on the railings and as a result of that she didn't send her son to school," said Ms Morgan.

The victim later told police he was making her life a misery and she felt he was totally obsessed with her.

"I am scared of what he is going to do next," she said.

Ms Morgan said Clawson was convicted of harassment in 2011 and breaching a restraining order imposed to protect the victim of that offence. He was convicted of harassing another woman in 2014.

She said Clawson was bailed by the police on May 1 but had persistently breached that bail by phoning the garden centre and trying to speak to her. She had also seen him on numerous occasions as she drove home.

"If he is prepared to breach bail conditions what might he do next," said Ms Morgan.

Stuart Thomson, defending, said the death of his mother in March had left the defendant in a very vulnerable state.

"The victim had offered him lifts home and he has misinterpreted that as her wanting to be friends," said Mr Thomson.

"He was angry that he had lost his job and she didn't want to be his friend."

Mr Thomson said Clawson admitted making the calls after he had been released on conditional bail but said all he was trying to do was say sorry.