A stalker with a three-decade ‘obsession’ with Emily Maitlis has been jailed for eight years after trying to breach a restraining order for the 20th time.
Edward Vines wrote eight letters to Maitlis and her mother expressing his “unrequited” love for the former Newsnight presenter, a court has heard.
He attempted to send the letters from HMP Nottingham between May 2020 and December 2021.
A Nottingham Crown Court judge told Vines he had shown ‘breathtaking persistence’ in his efforts to contact Maitlis, saying it was clear the defendant was considering the restraining order as “meaningless”.
Jurors were told Vines had “systematically and with increasing frequency” breached two separate restraining orders imposed on him in 2002 and 2009 – with 12 breaches to his name and seven separate prosecutions.
For the last two of his previous offences, Vines was jailed for three years after a judge said he feared there was ‘no view it would ever end’ and described the defendant’s behavior as a ‘lifelong obsession’.
In one of her letters to Maitlis, Vines told her he would “keep brooding and writing letters in jail” unless she told him about “her behavior” while they were together in jail. Cambridge University in 1990.
Stalker had an ‘insatiable desire’ to contact Maitlis
The 52-year-old had already been tried in October last year and after proceedings were halted due to medical issues he wrote two more letters in which he tried to blame Maitlis for not admitting to be “drawn to him”.
He denied eight counts of attempted breach of a restraining order, but was convicted unanimously on all counts by a jury.
Prosecutor Ian Way spoke of Vine’s “insatiable desire” to speak with Maitlis, with the stalker admitting he would send her letters if released from prison.
Despite the lengthy prison sentence and the imposition of a restraining order, Judge Mark Watson told the defendant he “was not discouraged and continued (his) efforts”.
He told Vines: “In my opinion, you have shown breathtaking perseverance and complete disregard for the order and procedure you have been waiting for.
“The only thing stopping you from contacting her is your continued detention.
“It’s an obsession you couldn’t escape.”
Emily Maitlis refers to the ‘conservative cronyism at the heart of the BBC’
“A vain campaign of harassment”
Maitlis – who led a infamous interview with Prince Andrew in 2019 – refused to make a victim impact statement in court before the sentencing hearing.
The journalist has already told how bullying ‘scared’ her children and reminded him that Vines “remains a constant threat in my life”.
During the trial, Mr Way told jurors he displayed a ‘persistent and obsessive fixation’ with Ms Maitlis.
He said: “For more than three decades, the defendant displayed a persistent and obsessive fixation with BBC journalist and broadcaster Emily Maitlis, whom he met at university in the 1990s.
“He can’t let go of something he perceived as wrong for him 30 years ago, and that’s, we say, what keeps him going.”
Nottinghamshire Police Sergeant Carl Holland, who led the investigation, said Vines was “wasting his life continuing this futile campaign of harassment”.
“We can only hope that reality finally dawns on him and he stops committing these offences,” he added.
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