BBC star Emily Maitlis’ harasser sentenced

BBC News presenter Emily Maitlis

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BBC News presenter Emily Maitlis met Edward Vines when they were students at Cambridge University

A former friend of Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, who has harassed the BBC journalist for more than 20 years, has been further jailed.

Edward Vines, 47, inflicted “psychological torture” on the BBC star by repeatedly breaching a restraining order, a court heard.

Vines wrote letters to Ms Maitlis while serving a sentence for previous breaches of the order.

He was given a 45-month sentence at Oxford Crown Court.

Ms Maitlis first met Vines, of Clarkes Row, Oxford, when they were students at Cambridge University.

He was first convicted of harassment in 2002.

‘Scared and let down’

He was issued with an indefinite restraining order in 2009, which he was convicted of twice breaching last year.

As well as contacting her while in prison for those offences, Vines wrote again while living in a bail hostel and subject of licence conditions.

Judge Peter Ross described this as “wholly unsatisfactory” and gave the probation service and the governor at HMP Bullingdon 10 days for a written explanation.

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Edward Vines’ sentencing was delayed after his application to alter his plea was refused by the court

In a statement read to the court, Ms Maitlis said she had felt “scared and let down” after she heard Vines had breached the restraining order “even from within the prison system”.

She said it had affected her relationship with her husband, and scared her children, “who thought the threats had gone away…while he was behind bars”.

‘Constant threat’

“It has affected my ability to do my work, what time I feel able to come home at night (I work late nights often). It also makes me jumpy around strangers for no reason as I fear any advance might be him,” she wrote.

“Altogether the breach has been a reminder for me that this man remains a constant threat in my life and my family’s life and that my ability to do my work, hang out with my children and lead a normal family life without constant sense of suspicion and fear has been badly damaged.”

Ms Maitlis said her husband had been left “frustrated that we cannot get to the bottom of this problem even though we have been tackling it through the CPS and the court for over 20 years”.

Vines’s sentencing was delayed after his application to alter his plea was refused by the court.

At the time, his lawyer, Michael Gould, told the court he could no longer represent his client as he had been “professionally embarrassed”.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42705126

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