Emily Maitlis stalker jailed for three years

Edward Vines wrote to Emily Maitlis's mother twice last year in the hope of getting through to the presenter

Monday, February 3, 2020

A "persistent and systematic" stalker who harassed Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for more than 25 years has been jailed after breaching a restraining order for the 12th time.

Obsessive Edward Vines sent letters to the BBC journalist's mother, Marion, saying he was in love with her daughter and was "distressed" when she ceased contact with him.

The 49-year-old said he had been "troubled" by Ms Maitlis's treatment of him while the pair studied at Cambridge University in the mid-1990s and alleged she lied about him during a previous trial.

At Nottingham Crown Court on Monday, Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said he feared there was "no sight of this ever ending" as he described Vines's behaviour as a "life-long obsession".

Vines pleaded guilty to attempting to breach a restraining order between May 7 and May 16 last year, and again on October 6 by sending a letter to Marion Maitlis to pass on to her daughter.

Edward Vines met Ms Maitlis while they were studying at Cambridge University

Wearing a beige coat, a blue shirt and spectacles at the hearing, the defendant looked down as he was handed consecutive prison sentences, totalling three years.

Sentencing Vines, Judge Rafferty said Vines "has not expressed any remorse at all. It is a sad case.

"For whatever reason, you have an obsession with Emily Maitlis and it is your belief that you have been wronged by her and you have been wronged by the law.

"You are convinced that you are in love with her and, no doubt, you think she is in love with you. I am afraid I have to sentence you on the basis that you are a long way from any reality dawning on you.

"If you love Emily Maitlis as you say you do, one might be forgiven for saying you have a very strange way of showing it, because you have made her life, in many ways, a misery."

Judge Rafferty continued: "She can't live a free life because of you. She is forever looking over her shoulder to see if you are there. If you keep breaching the order, all the court can do is lock you up."

Prosecutor Ian Way said Ms Maitlis had not been approached for a victim impact statement because "each repeated episode compounds the distress".

Mr Way said that since a sentencing hearing at Oxford Magistrates' Court, where Vines was handed a restraining order which extended to Ms Maitlis's family, Vines has "persistently and systematically breached the order".

Summarising the contents of the letters, Mr Way said: "He was despairing over the situation between Emily and himself, and he did not feel his rights as a defendant were being respected - and until then he would not abide by the order.

"He was troubled by Emily's treatment of him whilst at university. He said he was in love with her and he was distressed when she ceased all contact with him.

"He also stated that she lied about him and that he had not had his say."

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