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The Independent

Ex-BBC DJ Alex Belfield jailed for stalking Jeremy Vine and different broadcasters

A former BBC native radio DJ has been jailed for five-and-a-half years for stalking broadcasters together with Jeremy Vine, who was subjected to an “avalanche of hatred”.

Alex Belfield waged a relentless stalking marketing campaign in opposition to broadcasters, and Vine labelled him “the Jimmy Savile of trolling” after he repeatedly posted or despatched abusive messages, movies and emails.

Belfield, 42, was convicted of 4 stalking expenses at Nottingham Crown Court docket in a trial final month.

Jurors accepted he prompted severe alarm or misery to 2 victims and was discovered responsible of “easy” stalking in relation to Vine, a Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter, and theatre blogger Philip Dehany.

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

Mr Justice Saini, sentencing, instructed Belfield, who was seated within the courtroom dock, taking notes: “Your offences are so severe, solely a custodial sentence may be justified.”

Vine additionally gave proof in opposition to Belfield, telling jurors: “This isn’t an everyday troll right here. That is the Jimmy Savile of trolling.”

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 technique to keep away from additional ache was to remain fully nonetheless.”

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

The decide mentioned a pre-sentence report confirmed that whereas Belfield “absolutely acknowledges the misery to victims” it additionally “highlights you continue to seem to concentrate on the impression on you and really feel in sure respects you’ve been unfairly handled”.

He instructed Belfield that whereas not conventional stalking, “your strategies have been simply as efficient a method of intimidating victims and in some ways a lot more durable to take care of”.

He mentioned there was no escape for Belfield’s victims, till bail circumstances have been imposed earlier than his trial.

He agreed with Vine’s characterisation that the ex-DJ had “weaponised the web” in opposition to these he focused.

He additionally ordered indefinite restraining orders be made in opposition to Belfield, in favour of his victims and 4 different people.

Further reporting by PA

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