Ex-BBC presenter Emily Maitlis' stalker guilty of trying to breach order for 20th time

Edward Vines wrote eight letters to Ms Maitlis and her mother expressing his “unrequited” love for the former presenter, which he tried to send between May 2020 and December 2021.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that, in one of his letters to the journalist, he wrote he would “continue to brood and write letters in prison”, unless she spoke to him about “her behaviour in the 1990s”.

The prosecution told the jurors that Vines “systematically and with increasing frequency” breached two separate restraining orders imposed on him in 2002 and 2009 – with 12 previous breaches and seven separate prosecutions.

Jurors took just two hours to return the verdict.

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

As the verdicts were returned on Monday, the defendant looked straight ahead as he was taken away by prison officers. He denied all eight charges.

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

Jurors were also told of how Vines had breached the restraining order on 12 previous occasions – – including letters and emails addressed to Ms Maitlis at the BBC.

For the final two of his previous breaches the defendant was jailed for three years after a judge said that he feared there was “no sight of this ever ending”. He described Vines’ behaviour as a “lifelong obsession”.

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In the prosecution opening, Mr Way 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.”

Mr Way added: “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.”

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Judge Mark Watson adjourned the sentencing hearing until September 5.

Speaking to Vines, he said: “I’m not going to deal with you now because I want to know what the impact of your repeated efforts to breach this order have been.

“You can expect to receive a lengthy prison sentence.

“You have repeatedly told this jury and told others to whom you have spoken, that your intention is to continue to attempt to contact Emily Maitlis.

“Until [the sentencing hearing] Mr Vines, you will remain in custody.”

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