Maitlis stalker tells jury: ‘If I was out of jail I would send these letters’

·3-min read
(Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) (PA Media)
(Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) (PA Media)

A “compulsive” stalker who has had an “insatiable desire” to speak with former BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for the past 30 years has told a jury he would still write letters to her if he was freed from prison.

Edward Vines is alleged to have attempted to breach a restraining order in relation to Ms Maitlis eight times between May 2020 and December 2021, with letters addressed to her and her mother sent from HMP Nottingham.

Giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, the 52-year-old told jurors: “The problem derives from a young man being profoundly in love with a woman… not saying in the 1990s… that I love you.”

Vines said he “cannot heal” because of the restraining order, but claimed he never intended the letters to reach Ms Maitlis or her mother as he knew they would be intercepted by prison staff.

Edward Vines (Thames Valley Police/PA) (PA Media)
Edward Vines (Thames Valley Police/PA) (PA Media)

The defendant told the court he wanted a jury to see the letters “so that they can hear my views and that Emily owes me an apology”.

The jury of seven women and five men previously heard that Vines has had a three-decade “fixation” with the journalist, and wrote two further letters to her and her mother after a previous six-count trial was aborted.

Ms Maitlis interviewed the Duke of York in 2020, which led to Andrew stepping back from official public duties after criticism over his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse about his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Before answering questions from prosecutor Ian Way, Vines presented his own case, saying: “I know that very strict measures are in place for letters getting out.

“As I sit in my cell in Nottingham Prison, I know that no letter is going to reach Emily any more than one will reach the moon.”

HMP Nottingham (Lewis Stickley/PA) (PA Archive)
HMP Nottingham (Lewis Stickley/PA) (PA Archive)

In his cross-examination, Mr Way asked Vines: “You understand that you are prohibited from contacting Emily Maitlis and Marion Maitlis?”

“I do,” the defendant replied.

“So explain to the jury, please, what the purpose is of writing the letters,” Mr Way said.

The defendant responded: “One thing is what happened between me and Emily at university all those years ago.

“Also, she won’t speak to me unless a jury says she should talk to me.

“Nobody else will listen, nobody would take my side and I believe that 12 members of the public might.”

Police are like wild dogs with me, trying to kill me over my attempts to contact Emily Maitlis

Edward Vines

Explaining why he believed he had a reasonable excuse to breach his restraining order, Vines told jurors: “So I could persuade a jury… that Emily is in the wrong and that Emily has maligned me.”

He continued: “If I was at liberty, I would send these letters.

“Now, if I am harassing them, they (the police) have not discussed that with me.

Police are like wild dogs with me, trying to kill me over my attempts to contact Emily Maitlis.”

Mr Way then asked: “It is all about you speaking to Emily Maitlis, isn’t it?”

Vines replied: “It is about speaking to Emily, yes.”

“Which the order prohibits you from doing,” Mr Way added.

“Unless I have a reasonable excuse,” Vines answered.

“Emily doesn’t want to speak to you, does she?”

“I don’t know Emily’s state of mind.”

Mr Way continued: “What motivates you, Mr Vines, is your insatiable desire that you have to speak with Emily. That’s behind everything you do, isn’t it?”

Vines responded: “I think the problem derives from a young man being profoundly in love with a woman from university and not saying in the 1990s, when she met me, that I love you.

“That’s the reason for my ongoing hurt that I suffer. I can’t heal because you have got the restraining order.”

Vines denies all eight charges.

The trial continues.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting