A stalker who began targeting two women after his wife had died has been given a restraining order.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on August 21 how Ian Frost, 53, of Worksop Road, Mastin Moor, initially targeted a former neighbour who had been asked to briefly help Mr Frost just after his wife had died.
Frost later turned his attentions to a second woman by repeatedly following her, according to prosecuting solicitor Katie Hamill, until this victim was so terrified she ran to a police station in tears.
Mrs Hamill said: “Matters proceeded after Mr Frost’s wife passed away at home.”
Following the death at the couple’s former home in New Whittington, Chesterfield, police had asked a neighbour to sit with Frost, according to Mrs Hamill, and Frost had told this neighbour they would now both be on their own and he bought her flowers.
Mrs Hamill said that the former neighbour thought the flowers had been given out of kindness but Frost also sent her a note saying he cared for her and he began following her.
Frost sent a second note and a bottle of wine and left cartons of orange juice and a mug with the words “I love you” and, according to Mrs Hamill, he tried to give her flowers again which she refused.
Despite his neighbour telling him that she wanted to be left alone, Mrs Hamill said he continued to loiter outside whenever the woman left and returned from work and she was followed to the bus stop.
Mrs Hamill said Frost also watched the neighbour putting her washing out and a witness said she had seen Frost smelling a towel on the washing line.
After the woman received a further note and was followed to a bus stop she informed police but his behaviour continued, according to Mrs Hamill, and she was given another bottle of wine and a DVD.
Frost told police he did not think his behaviour had been stalking but he realised he had a soft spot for the woman and he had bought her wine and other gifts.
He admitted that he had a crush but he did not realise the impact his behaviour was having.
Mrs Hamill also told how Frost targeted a second woman by following her to work.
The second woman stated she had seen Frost daily on the same bus she catches to work and there had been no concerns initially but she noticed he had begun following her.
Mrs Hamill said that this woman was so concerned she changed her route to work but Frost still followed her and on one occasion she ran and she could hear him running behind her.
This victim eventually fled to a police station on Beetwell Street, in Chesterfield, after she had spotted Frost following her again.
She described the impact as “horrendous” and she had begun shaking like a leaf in the mornings and she did not feel safe in her home.
The woman stated: “I was unnerved when he was following me but when he chased me I was terrified because I did not know what his intentions were.”
She added that on the morning she ran to the police station she was “physically terrified and shaken”.
Frost told police he had been taking the same routes as this woman but claimed he had not been looking for her and he denied chasing after her but CCTV showed he had been running.
The defendant, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to two counts of stalking between June, 2018 and February, 2019, and between December, 2018, and March, 2019.
Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said Frost has learning difficulties and these incidents had started after he returned home from voluntary work to find his wife had died.
Ms Sargent added that Frost had not realised the level of harm his behaviour was causing and he will continue to receive support in the community to stop any such behaviour in the future.
Magistrates sentenced Frost to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
He was also fined £60 and ordered to pay £85 costs and given a two-year restraining order to keep away from both women.