Oxford

Man has 'ongoing obsession' with BBC's Emily Maitlis

BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis met Edward Vines while a student at Cambridge University
Image caption BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis met Edward Vines while a student at Cambridge University

Letters from a man with an "ongoing obsession" with BBC news presenter Emily Maitlis left her fearing for her safety, a court heard.

Edward Vines is accused of breaching a restraining order by sending letters to Ms Maitlis and her mother.

In the letters, Mr Vines said the Newsnight presenter acted "scornfully" towards him after he told her he loved her.

He denies two charges of breaching the restraining order, imposed in 2009.

'Considerable stress'

The trial at Oxford Crown Court heard how the 46-year-old sent two letters to Ms Maitlis and emails and letters to her mother, Marion Maitlis, between 10 May and 26 June, 2015.

Mr Vines' first letter to the presenter accused her of making up allegations of harassment, it was alleged.

In a statement, Ms Maitlis said: "I was at the BBC, going through my post, when I noticed an envelope addressed to me.

"I opened it and straight away saw the name Edward Vines. I did not read the contents of the letter and handed it straight to security.

"When Edward Vines contacts me, it causes me considerable stress and makes me worry about my safety and that of my family."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Edward Vines has been seeing a psychotherapist for five years

The jury heard the letters focussed on a friendship the pair formed while studying at Cambridge University in 1990.

Mr Vines wrote that it was when he told Ms Maitlis he loved her that the friendship broke down.

He claims Ms Maitlis became scornful towards him and distanced herself from him.

The jury also heard he had been seeing a psychotherapist for five years to try to make sense of the former friendship.

It was also claimed Mr Vines sent emails to Marion Maitlis, saying he had suicidal thoughts and asked her for help to contact her daughter.

Mr Vines denies the charges. The trial is expected to resume on Monday.