A MAN who rekindled an infatuation he had for a schoolfriend 50 years later has admitted stalking her.

Everard Cunion, now 62, said he "never got over" Julie Taylor, despite not having seen her since they left school in 1972.

The lifelong bachelor, who lives with nine fully-sized plastic dolls at his home in Fairmile Road, Christchurch, decided to try and get back in touch with Ms Taylor earlier this year after losing his job.

He researched births, deaths and marriage registers in order to find Ms Taylor, even obtaining her wedding photo.

Cunion also turned up at her old family home, where her 88-year-old mother Georgina Allen still lived, a court heard this week.

Although Cunion was told to leave, he went on to send eight letters addressed to Ms Taylor in a bid to speak with her.

He also went jogging past Mrs Allen's home every day for four months, although never stopped, and once followed a woman he thought might be Ms Taylor from the property.

Ms Taylor didn't respond to his letters, but she and her mother became alarmed when Cunion made a joke about kidnapping her and reported the former IT software engineer to police.

Cunion initially denied his behaviour amounted to harassment. However, during an appearance at Poole Magistrates' Court this week, he admitted stalking Ms Taylor and harassing her mother.

Lee Turner, prosecuting, said Cunion and Ms Taylor were at school together between 1968 and 1972.

"Cunion had an infatuation with her, which was not reciprocated," Mr Turner said.

"They last saw each other on the last day of school in 1972."

Cunion went to the old family home in May this year, the court heard. When Mrs Allen answered the door, she immediately recognised him and shut the door when he tried to give her a letter.

However, Cunion then sent a series of letters. In one, received in August, Cunion said in a "light-hearted way" that his 'kidnapping days were over'.

James Moore, mitigating, said there was "never any threat".

"He tells me, 'I'm an unconventional person and I find it difficult to communicate'," Mr Moore said.

"He felt with Julie there was an opportunity. Redundancy caused him to take stock of his life and all he wanted to do was see if he could rekindle a friendship with her."

The case was adjourned until November for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.