Stalker who has 'long-term fixation' with BBC's Emily Maitlis to be sentenced

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A prisoner who stalked Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for more than 25 years has admitted twice attempting to send her a letter via her mother.

Obsessive Edward Vines previously pleaded not guilty to breaching a restraining order imposed on him at Oxford Crown Court in 2009 for harassing the BBC journalist.

Journalist Emily Maitlis. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Journalist Emily Maitlis. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

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After the last hearing in September, where he denied sending a letter to Marion Maitlis, Vines then sent a second letter to the presenter's mother on October 6.

At Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, the 49-year-old admitted sending both letters as a judge described him as having a "long-term fixation" with Ms Maitlis.

Vines was jailed for 45 months on January 18, 2018, for continuing to breach his restraining order by writing to Ms Maitlis from prison and his bail hostel.

He met and briefly became friends with the Newsnight presenter when they were both students at Cambridge University in the mid-1990s.

In 2018, Ms Maitlis said Vines's unwanted attention was upsetting her husband, scaring her children and affecting her work.

The journalist interviewed the Duke of York in November last year, which led to Andrew stepping back from official public duties for the foreseeable future after criticism for his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt and spectacles as he appeared in court via video link from HMP Nottingham, Vines pleaded guilty to attempting to breach a restraining order between May 7 and

May 16 last year, and again on October 6 by sending a letter to Marion Maitlis to pass on to the journalist.

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The defendant was due to face a two-day trial next month before entering the guilty pleas.

In the previous hearing, where Vines represented himself, he even inquired whether he would be able to call Ms Maitlis as a witness in his trial.

At his sentencing hearing in 2018, Judge Peter Ross demanded written explanations from both the probation service and the governor at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire as to how Vines was able to continue offending, describing it as a "scandal".

On Thursday, Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said it was "not clear to the court what his present mental state is" as he adjourned Vines's sentencing hearing.

The judge added that "one of the things the court has got to consider is the risk of re-offending".

Judge Rafferty remanded Vines back into custody and adjourned his sentence until February 3 at the same court.