A man with an 'unshakeable obsession' for BBC TV presenter Emily Maitlis has been jailed for three years after being convicted of breaching multiple restraining orders. Edward Vines, from Oxford, repeatedly attempted to contact the Newsnight presenter and her family via letters and emails.
The 46-year-old had sent letters to Maitlis and her mother accusing them of making up allegations of harassment. During the trial at Oxford Crown Court, jurors heard how an "ongoing obsession" had developed in the years following the pair meeting while studying at Cambridge University in 1990.
Vines admitted breaching the order but claimed that Maitlis had failed to explain the breakdown in their friendship 25 years earlier so he had "no alternative" but to make contact. The court heard how their relationship fell apart months after Vines told her he loved her.
The 45-year-old BBC presenter said in a statement that his actions made her worry about her safety and that of her family. During the trial it emerged that Vines had been seeing a psychotherapist for five years.
The judge presiding over the case, Peter Ross, told Vines, according to the BBC: "You never had any reasonable excuse to contact Ms Maitlis. You have an unshakeable obsession underpinned by a delusion that a relationship existed. You have known that for 25 years this woman wanted nothing to do with you."
Maitlis said, in a statement read out at the hearing, that: "When Edward Vines contacts me it causes me considerable stress and makes me worry about my safety and that of my family".
Jurors, on Monday (5 September), found Vines guilty of two counts of breaching the restraining order, which was imposed in 2009. It was said that Vines had sent two letters to Maitlis. He also sent emails and letters to her mother between 10 May and 26 June of last year.
After the sentencing, it was stated by the court that Vines has previous convictions including breaches of restraining orders in 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Vines received an 18-month sentence for each of the two breaches to run concurrently. He received another 18-month sentence for admitting two counts he pleaded guilty to earlier in 2016.