A “persistent” stalker who has had a three-decade “fixation” with former BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis wrote two further letters to her and her mother after his previous trial was aborted, a court has heard.
dward Vines is alleged to have attempted to breach a restraining order in relation to Ms Maitlis eight times between May 2020 and December 2021, expressing his “unrequited love” for her.
Nottingham Crown Court heard the 52-year-old has “systematically and with increasing frequency” tried to breach orders imposed in 2002 and 2009, but all his letters were intercepted by staff at HMP Nottingham.
A jury of seven women and five men were first told of six alleged offences which were the subject of an aborted trial in October last year, including letters in which Vines told Ms Maitlis he would “continue to brood and to write letters in prison”.
The prosecution said that while awaiting a new trial, the defendant wrote two further letters in which he attempted to blame the journalist for not admitting to being “attracted to him”.
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.
Opening the case against Vines on Thursday, prosecutor Ian Way said: “Just before Christmas, and while he was awaiting trial on a six-count indictment, he again attempted to breach his restraining order on two occasions by writing one letter to Emily Maitlis and one to her mother.
“(A member of prison staff) seized a letter addressed to Emily Maitlis and the police were informed. A second letter was posted on December 23 – this one addressed to Marion Maitlis.
“The first of these letters began by saying it would be sensible if they met and talked.”
Mr Way said Vines claimed Ms Matilis’s refusal to accept she was attracted to him had “resulted in her telling falsehoods against him”.
The prosecutor continued: “In the letter to Marion Maitlis, Mr Vines criticised the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts, claiming his rights as a defendant had been breached.
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“He denied harassing Emily and said it was her who had wronged him by being attracted to him but not admitting to doing so. He said this was her fault for refusing to see him.
“He admitted writing and posting two letters. When asked why he sent them he said he was quite depressed at the time.”
He can’t let go of something that he perceived was a wrong to him 30 years in the past and that, we say, is what is driving himIan Way
Speaking about the defendant’s actions over the last 30 years, Mr Way said: “His persistent behaviour towards her resulted in a conviction against him. That resulted in the first of two restraining orders imposed against him.
“Since that time he has, the prosecution assert, systematically, and with increasing frequency, attempted to breach that order.
“He can’t let go of something that he perceived was a wrong to him 30 years in the past and that, we say, is what is driving him.
“The prosecution case is simple.
“The validity of the order is not an issue, it is valid whatever he says. The prohibitions in that order are clear and unambiguous.
“He is aware of the order and he has written these letters in knowledge of the order.
“He tried to get through to them and we say that by writing these letters he intended they would reach and be read by Emily and Marion.
“Why on earth would there be so much detail unless that was the true goal?”
Vines denies all eight charges.
The trial continues.
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