A STALKER who became obsessed with the daughter of a family friend pestered her with invitations to join him for coffee, a court heard.

The teenager, who saw Maurice Foster as something of a ‘kindly uncle’, initially complied, out of politeness, but as she grew older and wanted to mix with friends her own age, she turned down his repeated requests, making different excuses.

Durham Crown Court was told, feeling rebuffed, the messaging became more sinister and he invented a “girlfriend” in the name of the target of his harassment.

Jonathan Harley, prosecuting, said when she developed a relationship with a male student, Foster sent messages making spurious allegations about him, and threatened to send them to the dean of his faculty, to put his university place in jeopardy.

He also threatened to send what he claimed was a compromising pornographic video he obtained from the internet, featuring a woman who looked similar to her, to a drama group she was involved with, questioning if she was a fit and proper person to work with young members of the troupe.

But he offered her multiple opportunities to meet him as he could “help” to prevent the video being forwarded.

Foster would go to bus stops he knew the woman used to get to and from work, and often turned up at the food shop in Seaham, where she was employed.

Eventually, in despair, following the seven-month campaign of harassment, she reported it to police.

Foster, 37, of Brancepeth Avenue, Fencehouses, admits stalking and will be sentenced next week, when a statement from his victim will be read to the court.

He remains remanded in custody in the interim.