A STALKER left flowers with a note in his victim's garden claiming she had cheated on her husband with him.

Stephen Patrick Stokes acted out of "revenge" during the coronavirus lockdown when he placed the items at the address in Christchurch.

The victim and her husband discovered the flowers when looking out of their dining room window in late April.

A hand written note by Stokes, aged 61, falsely suggested that the victim had been meeting up with him and having an affair. The note made "clear references to sexual contact".

He was jailed by a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday after admitting a charge of stalking and causing serious harm or distress.

A previous hearing on Thursday, May 21, heard the note and flowers incident occurred two months after Stokes approached the victim while she was out walking. She told him to go away before she left the area.

Prosecuting Stuart Ellacott said the next contact from the defendant came with the note and flowers, with the victim recognising his handwriting.

The last time she saw him was on May 1, when he was stood across the road from her home.

Mr Ellacott told the court the woman had known Stokes for a short time in 2012, when they were just friends, before she became concerned with his behaviour and ended any contact.

At the time, Stokes was given a restraining order in relation to the victim, however, this had since lapsed.

In police interview, Stokes, of Christchurch Road, Ferndown, admitted further incidents where he had been near the victim's address.

Reading from a victim impact statement, Mr Ellacott said the woman has been signed off work, suffered from depression and received counselling.

Mitigating Kevin Hill told the court, earlier this year Stokes was in the Christchurch area when he saw the woman, which he found "upsetting" and brought up "old feelings".

Mr Hill said: "He felt resentment to her and old hurt had come back to him and that was the trigger for his behaviour."

He said the defendant has also been diagnosed with depression.

Discussing the nature of the note, Mr Hill added: "It can only be seen as an act of revenge."

Judge Brian Forster QC told Stokes: "You pursued a course of action which was designed to cause upset and trouble.

"Your note was shocking. It was thought out. You achieved your purpose because you caused great upset to the victim."

Stokes was jailed for eight months, ordered to pay a £149 victim surcharge and given a restraining order.