A PENSIONER spied on a woman from behind bushes and sent unwanted gifts after misinterpreting her kindness, a court has heard.

Brian Prosser, of Brookside, Canon Pyon, admitted stalking the woman between June 20 and August 19 when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Prosecutor Ralph Robyns Landricombe told the court the victim had called police on August 12, to report that 69-year-old Prosser had been following and watching her.

On one occasion, the victim said he had followed her and a friend and hidden behind bushes as they walked their dogs, while on others he had watched her from his garden.

Prosser, who was reported to have told her she was a 'natural beauty inside and out', was warned by police, but continued to behave in this manner, Mr Robyns Landricombe said.

He was arrested after the victim reported he had hidden behind a drainpipe to watch her again on August 21.

In interview, Prosser admitted spying on her, and told police it had been love at first sight after she had been nice to him at first. He said he had sent her gifts to repay her kindness and generosity.

Chris Read, for Prosser, said he had misinterpreted the situation very badly after the victim had done some shopping for him.

"He was spoken to by police and told she felt uncomfortable, but she did not at that point want things to be taken any further," Mr Read said.

"But he kept watching her and offering her gifts, which he clearly should not have done.

"He lives alone and is massively lonely. He spends 24 hours a day on his own."

The court heard the pensioner had been struggling with depression since his fiance died two years ago and is now receiving help from his GP.

Prosser received a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim, a six month community order and must pay compensation of £50 and a £95 victim surcharge. No costs order was made due to a lack of means.