Emily Maitlis: Man pleads guilty to breaching restraining order

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Edward Vines wrote to Emily Maitlis’s mother twice last year

A man who has stalked and harassed Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for two decades has pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order.

Edward Vines, 49, was serving a 45-month sentence when he wrote to Ms Maitlis’s mother in May last year.

In September he denied the charge, but then wrote to the broadcaster’s mother again in October.

Vines pleaded guilty via video link from HMP Nottingham and will be sentenced on 3 February.

At Nottingham Crown Court, Judge Stuart Rafferty QC heard Vines’ pleas to two counts of attempting to breach a restraining order, imposed on the stalker by Oxford Crown Court in 2009.

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Edward Vines met Ms Maitlis at university

He wrote to the journalist’s mother between 7 and 16 May, and then again on 6 October.

Vines was first convicted of harassing Maitlis in 2002.

She met Vines, from Oxford, when they were students at Cambridge University.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett Show in 2018, Maitlis said it had had a devastating impact on her family.

Before adjourning the hearing, Judge Rafferty said it “has been a long-term fixation/grievance”.

He said he would have to consider “the risk of him reoffending when he is in custody or when he is at large again”.

Previously the government has apologised to Maitlis after Vines was able to write to her from HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire, and again while living in a bail hostel.

When he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court in September, Vines argued he was never guilty of harassing Maitlis and therefore had an excuse to breach his restraining order.

He asked if he, representing himself, could call her to court for questioning.

In response, the presiding judge told him: “There is no question of you personally asking her questions, you must understand that.”

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Media captionSpeaking in 2018, Emily Maitlis told Emma Barnett about the impact her stalker has had on her life

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