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Emily Maitlis's 'obsessed' stalker jailed after writing her 8 letters

Emily Maitlis’ stalker is jailed for eight years after trying to breach a restraining order for the TWENTIETH time and writing letters to the presenter and her mother from jail expressing his ‘unrequited’ love

  • Edward Vines jailed for eight years after attempting to breach restraining order 
  • ‘Obsessed’ 52-year-old had tried contacting Emily Maitlis from his prison cell 
  • He had penned eight letters to former BBC Newsnight host and her mother 
  • Judge at Notts Crown Court told Vines he had shown ‘breathtaking persistence’ 

An ‘obsessed’ stalker with a thirty-year fixation on ex-BBC star Emily Maitlis was today jailed for eight years after he attempted to breach a restraining order for a staggering 20th time.

Edward Vines, who once attended the University of Cambridge with the former Newsnight presenter, had ‘systematically and with increasing frequency’ breached two separate orders barring him from contacting the journalist.

A judge at Nottingham Crown Court told the 52-year-old he had shown ‘breathtaking persistence’ in his efforts to contact his victim – saying it was clear he saw the restraining order as ‘meaningless’.

Vines penned eight letters addressed to Ms Maitlis and her mother expressing his ‘unrequited’ love for her from his prison cell in HMP Nottingham.

In one of his letters to the journalist, he told her he would ‘continue to brood and to write letters in prison’, unless she spoke to him about ‘her behaviour’ while they were at university together in 1990. 

Vines previously stood trial in October last year, and after proceedings were halted due to medical issues he wrote two further letters in which he attempted to blame the journalist for not admitting to being ‘attracted to him’.

He denied eight counts of attempting to breach a restraining order but was unanimously convicted of all counts by a jury. Vines was today jailed for eight years.

Edward Vines had ‘systematically and with increasing frequency’ breached two separate orders barring him from contacting the journalist

Vines, 52, met Emily Maitlis, pictured, while they were at Cambridge University. Though in 2009, Ms Maitlis was forced to seek a court order preventing Vines from contacting her

Prosecutor Ian Way spoke of the defendant’s ‘insatiable desire’ to speak with the BBC presenter while he was giving evidence in his latest trial in July – with Vines admitting he would send letters to her if he was freed from prison.

Vines had breached the restraining order on 12 previous occasions – including letters and emails addressed to Ms Maitlis at the BBC.

He previously told the court he was trying to ‘perfect the art of letter writing’ and that he wanted to ‘have that moment so we can finish this war’. 

For the final two of his previous breaches, Vines was jailed for three years after a judge said he feared there was ‘no sight of this ever ending’ – describing the defendant’s behaviour as a ‘life-long obsession’.

1989 – Edward Vines first met Emily Maitlis when they were both students at Cambridge University

1990 – Vines believed Ms Maitlis had acted ‘scornfully’ towards him after he had told her he was in love with her and had a ‘sexual attraction’ to her while they were studying

2002 – He was convicted of harassment after Ms Maitlis contacted police about his erratic behaviour following the murder of her fellow broadcaster Jill Dando

2009 – After Vines continued trying to contact Maitlis, he was given the restraining order

2015 – He breached the order by sending two letters to the journalist and emails and letters to her mother, Marion Maitlis

2016 – He was jailed for three years for breaching a restraining order preventing him from contacting her

However he sent her a letter from his prison cell, as well as a second letter while out on licence and under the supervision of probation services

2018 – Vines is jailed by a judge at Oxford Crown Court for 45 months after admitting two breaches of an indefinite restraining order

Ms Maitlis reveals the ordeal to the public, saying she felt let down by the criminal justice system

2020 & 2021 – Vines has letters intended for Ms Maitlis and her mother intercepted by guards at HMP Nottingham

2022 – Vines is found guilty of breaching his restraining orders for the 20th time after writing letters from his prison cell

Despite the lengthy prison sentence and the imposition of a restraining order, Judge Mark Watson told the defendant on Monday he ‘remained undeterred and continued in (his) efforts’.

He told Vines: ‘In my judgment, you have shown breath-taking persistence and a complete disregard for the order and the proceedings you were awaiting.

‘This is just the latest chapter in a much longer history. 

‘It seems that having left university and gone your separate ways, you then ruminated over what could have been.

‘The existence of the order is meaningless to you. The only thing stopping you from contacting her is your continued imprisonment.

‘It is an obsession from which you have been unable to escape.’

Ms Maitlis interviewed the Duke of York in 2020, which led to Andrew stepping back from official public duties after criticism over his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse about his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The broadcaster and her mother declined to give a victim impact statement to the court ahead of the sentencing hearing.

Outlining the reasons why Ms Maitlis declined to provide a statement, Mr Way said: ‘The defendant has persistently maintained… that he will continue to write to Emily and Marion Maitlis.

‘The court can properly infer the impact of such long and persistent offending on the Maitlis family.

‘It is indicative of how much they are affected by these proceedings that the defendant causes.’

In the trial, Mr Way told jurors he demonstrated a ‘persistent and obsessive fixation’ with Ms Maitlis.

Opening the case, he said: ‘This case has a long and unhappy history.

‘For a period in excess of three decades, the defendant has demonstrated a persistent and obsessive fixation with the BBC journalist and broadcaster Emily Maitlis, whom he met at university in the 1990s.

‘His compulsive behaviour towards her resulted in a conviction against him before the West London Magistrates’ Court on September 19 2002 for pursuing a course of conduct which amounted to harassment.’

Vines (right) penned eight letters addressed to former Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis and her mother expressing his ‘unrequited’ love for her from his prison cell in HMP Nottingham 

Prison staff at HMP Nottingham, pictured, intercepted letters from Vines to Ms Maitlis and her family between May 2020 and December 2021

Vines was jailed in 2016 for three years at Oxford Crown Court for breaching an order initially imposed after he was convicted in 2002 (pictured during that year) of harassing Ms Maitlis where he was jailed for four months

Mr Way continued: ‘His persistent behaviour towards her resulted in a conviction against him. That resulted in the first of two restraining orders imposed against him.

‘Since that time he has, the prosecution assert, systematically, and with increasing frequency, attempted to breach that order.

‘He can’t let go of something that he perceived was a wrong to him 30 years in the past and that, we say, is what is driving him.’

Nottinghamshire Police’s Sergeant Carl Holland, who led the investigation, said: ‘In this latest case, all eight letters were intercepted by prison staff and so Vines’ only accomplishment was to significantly extend his detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

‘Sadly, he is wasting his life by continuing this futile campaign of harassment. We can only hope reality now finally dawns on him and he stops committing these offences.’

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