THE son of a serial rapist jailed for life in the 1980s has admitted stalking a checkout girl after meeting her when she was a teenager.

Julian Lamb, who lives in Southampton Road, Ringwood, met his young victim when she was just 17 and working at Morrisons in Verwood. He later told police that as he paid for his shopping the victim "blushed" and looked at a colleague, which led him to believe she was attracted to him.

He then launched a six-year campaign of harassment, messaging her scores of times via Instagram and Facebook despite her pleas for him to leave her alone.

Lamb, 44, told the victim he is the son of John Lambe, otherwise known as the M5 rapist, and urged the young woman to research his father.

Lambe, who worked as a builder and lorry driver, carried out a string of sex attacks on women aged between 15 and 74 in Bristol and Taunton between 1975 and 1980.

He was jailed for life after being convicted of 12 counts of rape and six charges of attempted rape in 1981.

On Friday, Julian Lamb appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for a sentencing hearing. He was initially charged with stalking involving serious alarm or distress, which he denied. He later admitted a lesser charge of stalking without fear, alarm or distress.

Nick Robinson, prosecuting, said Lamb met the victim in 2009. The case relates to a period of time between 2012 and January this year.

"She repeatedly asked him leave her alone, even saying, 'Look, I've had enough'," Mr Robinson said.

"She describes herself being harassed and worried about [his] behaviour. She blocked [his social media] profiles but he kept creating new profiles."

On one occasion, Lamb sent four messages to which the complainant made no reply. The following day, he messaged once again to say: "Can we just be friends again please?

"If not, just say and never hear from me again.

"I think about you too much and compare everyone physically to you."

Mr Robinson said: "On two occasions, he informed her that his father is a man named John Lambe, who is the M5 rapist, and encouraged her to look him up.

"She obviously found that very worrying."

In messages discussing his father, Lamb said: "My dad has just been released.

"I'm struggling. You're the only one that said 'You're not your dad'."

The victim went to the police after two "unnerving" incidents in 2017.

During the first, she applied for a job in Asda and was successful. However, after her interview Lamb messaged her to say he had seen her at the supermarket.

She then applied for a job in a nursing home. The defendant was working as a contractor at the home, and he contacted her to let her know he was working for the same company.

The victim, who is now in her 20s, did not want to give evidence at the court. Mr Robinson said the case has badly affected her.

However, in a victim impact statement read aloud to the court by the barrister, she said: "No person has the right to treat me in this way or disregard my obviously and clearly stated wishes to be left alone.

"It should not be down to me to stop a person from contacting me. He knows perfectly well I do not want it. I never wanted it."

Lamb's wife is standing by the defendant.

Robert Grey, mitigating, said the Lamb's behaviour is "unacceptable".

His father's convictions, which happened when the defendant was seven, "resulted in distorted thinking", the barrister said.

"It's such a terrible thing to happen to a young child," Mr Grey said.

"It's impossible to say his development and thinking thereafter would not have been adversely affected by it. To that extent, he is a victim of what his father did."

Judge Brian Forster QC stressed that his sentencing powers were limited due to the change in charge. The maximum prison sentence after a trial for the lesser charge is six months.

"You became obsessed with a young girl," he said.

"Your actions haunted her."

He said the public will be "rightly concerned" about Lamb's offending, but said: "The CPS found themselves in a difficult position because a situation came about where the complainant did not want to give evidence."

As a result, a lesser charge was put.

Probation officers recommended Lamb was not jailed so he could complete a course called 'building better relationships' to address is "abusive behaviour".

"It is absolutely clear to me the appropriate sentence has to ensure the defendant is supervised for the maximum amount of time available to the court," he said.

Lamb was sentenced to a three-year community order with 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 200 hours of unpaid work.

The victim will be protected with an indefinite restraining order.