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Daily Mail

BBC Radio DJ Alex Belfield jailed for 5 years after stalking Jeremy Vine and different stars

Former BBC native radio DJ Alex Belfield who was branded the ‘Jimmy Savile of trolling’ has been jailed for 5 years after being convicted of 4 stalking expenses towards broadcasters together with Jeremy Vine. 

Belfield, 42, was discovered responsible after trial final month of waging a relentless stalking marketing campaign towards broadcasters, with TV’s Jeremy Vine subjected to an ‘avalanche of hatred’.

Vine labelled him ‘the Jimmy Savile of trolling’ throughout a trial which heard he repeatedly posted or despatched abusive messages, movies and emails.

Jurors accepted Belfield triggered severe alarm or misery to 2 victims and was discovered responsible of ‘easy’ stalking in relation to Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mr Vine and theatre blogger Philip Dehany.

BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith was left feeling suicidal by a ‘tsunami of hate’, the trial heard.

Jeremy Vine additionally gave proof towards Belfield, telling jurors: ‘This isn’t a daily troll right here. That is the Jimmy Savile of trolling.’

Alex Belfield, 42, was discovered responsible after trial final month of waging a relentless stalking marketing campaign towards broadcasters

Veteran broadcaster Jeremy Vine previously sobbed in court as he described being targeted by Belfield

Alex Belfield, 42, showed no emotion as he was found guilty of stalking at Nottingham Crown Court

Jeremy Vine (left) gave proof within the trial of former BBC Radio Leeds presenter Alex Belfield (proper). They’re each pictured outdoors courtroom on July 13 

Describing watching Belfield’s video output as like swimming in sewage, Mr Vine mentioned of the defendant’s conduct: ‘It felt like I had a fish hook in my face and my flesh was being torn, and the one approach to keep away from additional ache was to remain fully nonetheless.’

In dramatic witness proof, Vine sobbed as he informed jurors how Belfield’s movies and tweets about him launched an ‘avalanche of hatred’ from different web customers and meant he needed to set up safety cameras in his residence as a result of he feared one of many 42-year-old’s ‘disciples’ might launch a knife or acid assault on him or his household.

Nottingham Crown Courtroom heard Vine, who claimed Belfield made 124 references to him in his on-line content material in a single 14-day interval, was even pressured to place up an image of Belfield within the hallway and warn his teenage daughter to be on her guard whereas on the road – inflicting her to burst into tears.

Jurors convicted Belfield of 4 expenses dedicated between 2012 and 2021.

Belfield has been given a complete of 5 years and 26 weeks in jail, of which he’ll serve half, on all 4 expenses he was convicted of. 

Mr Justice Saini, sentencing, informed Belfield, who was sat taking notes within the courtroom dock: ‘Your offences are so severe, solely a custodial sentence will be justified.’

Belfield was found guilty of stalking to cause alarm and distress to BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith (pictured)

Belfield was discovered responsible of stalking to trigger alarm and misery to BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith (pictured)

John McGuinness QC, prosecuting, had informed jurors that Belfield’s offending was ‘extra akin to web trolling’ than the ‘extra recognisable type of stalking – following the sufferer when they’re shifting round on the street, or turning up at their home or workplace to confront them.’

He mentioned the case concerned Belfield both repeatedly instantly contacting his victims through e mail, tweets or Fb messages, or making statements about them in emails, on Twitter, and in movies he uploaded to the web.

However throughout his proof, Vine revealed he had beforehand had a ‘bodily’ stalker – and claimed that was a ‘picnic’ in comparison with Belfield’s on-line harassment, which happened over an 11-month interval between 2020 and final yr.

He described how Belfield inspired supporters to make hoax calls to his Channel 5 TV and BBC Radio 2 reveals. 

Vine mentioned he wasn’t conscious of Belfield’s existence till April 2020 when an acquaintance despatched him a hyperlink to a video on YouTube that featured a ‘rant’ about him – with Belfield concluding: ‘This man actually p***** me off.’

Vine mentioned that in hindsight, he ‘wished he hadn’t’ seen it, including: ‘Watching this man is like swimming in sewage.’

A ‘fixed bombardment’ of movies, tweets and messages then adopted.

Vine informed the listening to: ‘I can see he’s actually beginning to personally dislike me, and I have no idea why as a result of I’ve by no means had something to do with this man.

Jurors convicted Belfield  (pictured) of four charges committed between 2012 and 2021

Jurors convicted Belfield  (pictured) of 4 expenses dedicated between 2012 and 2021

Belfield pictured taking a selfie outside Nottingham Crown Court before an earlier court appearance

Belfield pictured taking a selfie outdoors Nottingham Crown Courtroom earlier than an earlier courtroom look

‘This begins to get extra worrying for me as a result of clearly it’s Alex versus Jeremy and he has an agenda, and I’m questioning if I’m beginning to have an issue right here.’

He added that Belfield began falsely claiming that Vine had ‘stolen’ £1,000 of licence price payers’ cash to place in direction of a memorial service for radio government John Myers, who died on the age of 60.

Vine broke down as he informed jurors how that accusation, which he described as a ‘full lie’, had led to at least one troll focusing on an internet tribute he posted to his father, who died of Parkinson’s illness.

He mentioned: ‘His remark was, ‘what would your father have mentioned if he knew his son was a thieving toe rag? I could not deal with it. I went to the police and mentioned I could not deal with it any extra.’

Vine added that Belfield, of Mapperley, Nottingham, escalated the harassment from ‘week to week’ to ‘day after day’, claiming: ‘He operates by way of persistence and repetition.

‘I could not sleep. You might be serious about this 24/7.’

 Vine mentioned it left him ‘shredded’.

He added: ‘It launched unbelievable hate towards me. I had 5,000 to 10,000 hateful private tweets as a direct results of Belfield.

‘He stored on and on. I used to be anxious. I could not eat or sleep for a time.

‘I felt wounded, and felt there was completely no escape.

‘We’re coping with severe criminality right here. This isn’t a daily troll. That is the Jimmy Savile of trolling. Each reference to him makes my flesh creep. All he does is lie.

‘I had a bodily stalker who adopted me. That was a picnic in comparison with this man. His movies are nonetheless on-line. In 1,000 years my nice, nice grandchildren will see tales about how I stole £1,000, and there may be nothing I can do about it.’

Mr Justice Saini mentioned a pre-sentence report confirmed whereas Belfield ‘totally acknowledges the misery to victims’ it additionally ‘highlights you continue to seem to concentrate on the affect on you and really feel in sure respects you’ve got been unfairly handled’.

The choose informed Belfield that whereas not ‘conventional stalking’, ‘your strategies have been simply as efficient a manner of intimidating victims and in some ways a lot more durable to take care of.’

He added there was ‘no escape’ for Belfield’s victims, till bail circumstances have been imposed forward of his trial and agreed with Mr Vine’s characterisation the ex-DJ had ‘weaponised the web’ towards these he focused.

‘As you quoted, your purpose was to hang-out your victims; they believed you’d by no means go away,’ the choose mentioned. 

Mr Justice Saini mentioned that though Belfield had a proper to free speech, he ‘wasn’t entitled to spoil the non-public lives’ of these he focused – who had ‘no escape’ till police bail circumstances stopped the harassment following his arrest.

The choose additionally imposed restraining orders stopping Belfield, who confirmed no response as he was sentenced, from contacting his victims till additional discover, and informed him to pay £10,000 prices.

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