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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 21:47 GMT 22:47 UK
BBC newsreader stalker walks free
Emily Maitlis
Emily Maitlis was at university with Vines from 1989
A man who stalked a BBC presenter for more than a decade has been sentenced to four months in prison but has walked free from court.

Edward Vines, 32, admitted harassing Emily Maitlis, the host of BBC London News.

Vines, who first met Ms Maitlis at university in 1989, has subjected her to regular harassment, West London magistrates court was told.

Sentencing him, the court took into account the two-and-a-half months Vines had already spent in jail on remand.


I'm immensely relieved and pleased that it is over

Emily Maitlis
Vines must comply with a restraining order stopping him contacting Ms Maitlis, 31, which, if breached, could result in a five year prison term.

Ms Maitlis met Vines when they were undergraduates at Queen's College Cambridge in 1989.

Vines, of West Kensington, admitted bombarding her with letters, going to her work and trying to contact her through other people against her wishes between March 1999 and July 2000.

Friendship broken

In a previous hearing last month, magistrates were told his campaign of harassment had gone on for more than a decade since leaving university.

The pair had struck up a "platonic" friendship but once Ms Maitlis became aware he wanted "something more" from the friendship she said she broke off contact.

But after they left university Vines tried repeatedly to contact her, she said.

Ms Maitlis, who was at court, said afterwards: "I'm immensely relieved and pleased that it is over and I would like to thank the police for all the support they have given me."


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