Emily Maitlis stalker will ‘continue to brood and write letters', court told
A “persistent and obsessive” stalker, who has harassed BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for more than 25 years, has written more letters from prison expressing his “unrequited love” for her, a court has heard.
Edward Vines is alleged to have attempted to breach a restraining order against Ms Maitlis six further times between May 31 last year and September 21 this year.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that, in one of his letters to the journalist, the 51-year-old told her he would “continue to brood and to write letters in prison”, unless she spoke to him about “her behaviour in 1990”.
Jurors were told that 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.
The six most recent charges against Vines allege that he breached a restraining order imposed on him at Oxford Crown Court in 2009 by writing letters to both Ms Maitlis and her mother, Marion Maitlis.
The court heard that all six letters were intercepted by staff at HMP Nottingham.
Opening the case against Vines on Tuesday, prosecutor Ian Way said: “It is a case which the Crown say has a long and unhappy history.
“For a period in the region of two decades, the defendant has demonstrated, the prosecution say, 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 the 19th September 2002 for pursuing a course of conduct which amounted to harassment.
“He pleaded guilty on that occasion and he was dealt with, and part of the punishment was that he was made the subject of a restraining order.
“Since that time, he has systematically and with increasing frequency breached that, and a subsequent order, 12 times, involving seven separate prosecutions, excluding this case.”
Speaking of one letter dated June 2 last year, Mr Way said: “The letter began by saying that the defendant wished to address issues between himself and Emily Maitlis.
“(A prison staff member) immediately put the letter to one side and the police were notified.
“The defendant was charged with the above matter and the proceedings were commenced.”
The court heard that another letter, dated December 5 last year, “comprised six pages of hand-written text”.
Mr Way said: “The defendant continued to dispute that his conduct amounted to harassment and questioned why he had been convicted.
“He stressed that he felt that the complainant owed him a response to his previously asked questions as to what had happened between them at university in 1990.
“He expressed his unrequited love for her and criticised her for not responding to his constant questioning.
“He accused her of lying about him in a statement which had resulted in everyone taking her side to his detriment, stating that he had been badly represented in the past and could not appeal as a result.”
The court heard that a separate two-page letter began with the comment: “You still have not spoken to me about your behaviour in 1990 and you lied to the police about it.”
Mr Way said Vines had tried to tell Ms Maitlis: “I see no reason for you to feel ‘alarm’ or ‘distress’ since all I am asking is for you to be honest and give me your thoughts on the proposal I have put forward.”
The prosecutor continued: “He stated that a reasonable person would not see his letters as harassment.
“On the contrary, he stated that it was Ms Maitlis who was being unreasonable by not agreeing to his requests to talk to him about his perceived slight by her some 30 years ago which still caused him hurt.
“He said that he would never adhere to the restraining order because he had never had a fair trial or a proper investigation.”
Vines denies all six charges.
The trial continues.