A stalker who terrified a teenage girl by following her home from school and on nights out told police he was attracted to young girls, a court was told on Tuesday.
Harrogate magistrates heard how the 14-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had first been followed by 37-year-old bachelor Colin McGuinness when she left school in November last year.
Prosecutor Alex Johnson said the initial incident had occurred in Kingsley Road, Harrogate, the street where McGuinness lives with his parents.
Mr Johnson said at one point McGuinness grabbed the hood of the girl’s coat before running off. A week later the girl noticed him standing at a gate staring at her and she was again followed home.
In February or March this year she again reported McGuinness following her home and on March 12, around 9pm, she had been walking along Kingsley Road when McGuinness appeared and tried to grab her hood as she passed. She ran off.
Mr Johnson said on September 25 the girl had been walking with a cousin to an address in Knaresborough Road when McGuiness began to stare at her and follow her.
Police had arrested McGuinness, a man without previous convictions, who told them he had acted as he had because he was attracted to young females. In a formal interview he made no comment to all questions.
When McGuinness pleaded guilty to harassment his solicitor Clive Farndon said he was a man with an excellent work record who accepted he had followed the girl on a number of occasions, though he could not specifically remember each and every one.
Mr Farndon said the only times McGuinness went out were Saturdays when he took the train to York and drank heavily with friends before catching a train back. ‘‘And there have been occasions when he has seen the complainant in this case and followed her.
‘‘He has asked me to say that he now feels thoroughly ashamed by his behaviour which he accepts would have caused alarm and concern to this young lady,’’ said Mr Farndon.
Court chairman Marion Simon called for probation reports to be prepared and warned McGuinness he could face a prison sentence. He was bailed until November 13 and told that in the meantime he had to avoid all contact with three named people, including his victim, abide by a daily curfew between 3pm and 5pm and from 7pm to 4.30am and have no unsupervised contact with any female under 16.