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Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis tells of 25-year stalking ordeal

Published 14/05/2016

Emily Maitlis has spoken of her stalking ordeal
Emily Maitlis has spoken of her stalking ordeal

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis has spoken for the first time about her 25-year stalking ordeal that has left her children requiring a security escort to get the school bus.

Edward Vines met the journalist when they were undergraduates at Queen's College, Cambridge University and has previously been convicted for harassing Maitlis and bombarding her with messages.

Speaking for the first time about her ordeal, the presenter told The Times Magazine how she has been left fearing for the safety of her two sons.

She told the magazine: "I wasn't a celeb; I was just a student who knew him a bit. But it soon became very intense and he turned up everywhere. My whole family was trying to protect me."

Maitlis said that despite taking him to court more than a decade ago where he was convicted, Vines continues to harass her.

She said: "I had a police presence outside my house two months ago. There is an injunction and, when he breaches it, it starts again.

"There is a weariness to it. It feels never-ending. His life is ruined; I try to blank it. It's a heaviness that sits on you, and when he comes back it's dreadful. I get calls at all times of the day and night. It feels desperately sad. I can't see how it will end."

The saga has left her feeling powerless and fearing for her family, she said.

"For the first 15 years I thought if I did this or that, it would help. I now realise it's not about me", she said.

"But it is when you need an escort to go to Sainsbury's and my kids have to have a security guy to go to the school bus. He can start threatening. I am butch enough to run fast, but it's my kids I mind about."

Maitlis was forced to go in the witness box and be cross-examined by her persecutor when she took him to court in 2002 after he sacked his lawyer.

She kept her head turned away from the dock and struggled to keep her composure during the questioning, which was brought to a halt after 45 minutes when a court legal adviser decided it was too distressing for the journalist to continue.

Vines was convicted of stalking her and sentenced to four months in prison following the trial at West London Magistrates' Court.

But he ended up walking free from court because of the time he had served on remand, and the case appears to have done little to stop him.

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