A stalker walked from court last night after being convicted of harassing a woman he first began hounding six years ago.

Anthony Burstow, 39, had been in court just 17 months after he was released from jail for causing psychological grievous bodily harm to the same woman.

He will be sentenced in January but lawyers believe he is unlikely to face more time in jail because he has spent eight months on remand.

His victim, Miss Tracey Morgan, said last night her life had been ''like walking along the edge of a cliff'' during her ordeal.

Miss Morgan, 30, of Crow-thorne, Berkshire, said the past six years had been a ''fight for survival'' after magistrates in Bracknell, Berkshire, found Burstow guilty of harassing her.

Miss Morgan said: ''I'm relieved a bit of justice has been done today in the farce I call the legal system. The past six years has been a fight to survive, wondering every time I go outside the front door whether I'm going to get through the day.

''It is like walking along the edge of a cliff not knowing if today will be the day someone pushes you over.''

She hoped a restraining order would be made against Burstow so that she could get her life back to normal.

In March 1996, former naval petty officer Burstow, of Shepherd's Walk, Hythe, Kent, became the first stalker to be convicted of causing psychological grievous bodily harm in an earlier case involving Miss Morgan. He was jailed for three years and released in June last year.

The court had heard Falklands' veteran Burstow followed Miss Morgan home from work and sent her an anonymous birthday card on her 30th birthday.

Miss Morgan, formerly known as Tracey Sant, broke down in tears in the dock yesterday as she described how the campaign of hate had begun again in January.

She told the hearing her six-year ordeal started after the pair met when they were working together at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire, in 1992.

Miss Morgan befriended Burstow because she felt sorry for him but he became obsessed with her when she tried to end the friendship. Over a four-year period he bombarded her with phone calls, bugged her home, stole her underwear and her wedding video, and poured oil over her car.

He moved into a house 500 yards from her and wrote a poison-pen letter, in which he said: ''Remember this is totally personal and nothing will change how much I hate you.''

Miss Morgan's marriage crumbled under the strain.

Miss Morgan told magistrates: ''For the past six years, I have been terrorised and been a prisoner in my own home, not knowing if I was going to survive the day.

''I'm not paranoid but I didn't know what was going to happen when this man was around.''

The only time she had felt safe was when he was behind bars.

Miss Morgan told the court that on January 21, she suspected Burstow was following her home. She did not get a good look at the driver but the next day spotted the same car parked near her home.

She took a video of it and called police, who arrested Burstow. He was in breach of an exclusion order by being in Crowthorne.

In the hired car, officers found binoculars, a laser torch, and documents relating to Miss Morgan and her family.

Mr Jack Beards, defending, said there was no evidence to link Burstow to the sending of the birthday card or other matters.