An obsessive stalker who had his fixation on former BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for three decades has been sentenced to eight years in prison after attempting to breach a restraining order for the 20th time.
Dward Vines wrote eight letters to Ms Maitlis and her mother expressing his “unrequited” love for her, which he tried to send from HMP Nottingham between May 2020 and December 2021.
A judge at Nottingham Crown Court said the 52-year-old had shown “stunning persistence” in his efforts to contact his victim – it was clear he saw the injunction as “meaningless”.
The jury was told that Vines “systematically and with increasing frequency” violated two separate restraining orders imposed on him in 2002 and 2009 — with 12 violations of his name and seven separate criminal charges.
In one of his letters to the journalist, he told her he would “continue to brood and write letters in prison” unless she spoke to him about “her behavior” when they were together at Cambridge University in 1990.
Vines appeared in court in October last year, and after the case was dropped over medical issues, he wrote two more letters trying to blame the journalist for not admitting he was “attracted to him.” ” to feel.
He denied eight counts of attempted restraining order violations, but was unanimously convicted by a jury on all counts.
Prosecutor Ian Way spoke of the defendant’s “unquenchable desire” to speak to the BBC presenter while testifying at his final trial in July – with Vines admitting he would send her letters if he were released from prison.
Vines had breached the restraining order on 12 previous occasions – including letters and emails to the BBC’s Ms Maitlis.
For the last two of his previous violations, Vines was sentenced to three years in prison after a judge said he feared there was “no end in sight” – and described the accused’s behavior as a “lifelong obsession”.
Despite the lengthy sentence and the issuing of a restraining order, Judge Mark Watson told the defendant Monday he “remained undeterred and continued[his]efforts.”
He told Vines: “In my opinion, you have shown stunning persistence and a complete disregard for the order and procedure you have been waiting for.
“This is just the latest chapter in a much longer story.
“It seems that after you left university and went your separate ways, you contemplated what could have been.
“The existence of the Order is meaningless to you.
“The only thing preventing you from contacting them is your continued detention.
“It’s an obsession you couldn’t break free from.”
Ms Maitlis interviewed the Duke of York in 2020, which led to Andrew stepping down from official public duties after criticism for his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse over his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The broadcaster and her mother declined to testify to the court about the victim’s effects before sentencing.
Explaining the reasons why Ms Maitlis refused to make a statement, Mr Way said: “The defendant has persistently maintained … that he will continue to write to Emily and Marion Maitlis.
“The court can correctly deduce the impact of such a long and prolonged offense on the Maitlis family.
“It is indicative of how deeply affected they are by this process that the defendant is causing.”
At the trial, Mr Way told jurors he displayed a “persistent and obsessive fixation” on Ms Maitlis.
Opening the case, he said: “This case has a long and unfortunate history.
“For more than three decades, the defendant has displayed an abiding and obsessive attachment to BBC journalist and broadcaster Emily Maitlis, whom he met at university in the 1990s.
“His compulsive behavior towards her led to a conviction against him in West London Magistrates’ Court on September 19, 2002 for conduct amounting to harassment.”
Mr Way continued: “His persistent behavior towards her resulted in a conviction against him. This resulted in the first of two restraining orders being imposed on him.
“Since that time, prosecutors allege, he has attempted to violate that order systematically and with increasing frequency.
“He can’t let go of what he felt was wrong 30 years ago and that, shall we say, is what drives him.”
Nottinghamshire Police Sergeant Carl Holland, who led the inquiry, said: “In this latest case, all eight letters were intercepted by prison staff and so Vines’ only achievement was to significantly extend his detention, to Her Majesty’s delight.
“Unfortunately, he is wasting his life by continuing this futile campaign of harassment. We can only hope that now the reality will finally dawn on him and he will stop committing these crimes.”
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/emily-maitlis-stalker-man-jailed-for-eight-years-after-repeatedly-contacting-ex-bbc-presenter-41963067.html Stalker Emily Maitlis: Man sentenced to eight years in prison after repeatedly contacting ex-BBC presenter