Wednesday, September 21, 2022

‘Gray’ ex-BBC DJ jailed for stalking Jeremy Vine online

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A “cruel” former BBC local radio presenter has been jailed for five years and 26 weeks for stalking broadcasters including Jeremy Vine.

Alex Belfield, 42, who “weaponized the internet” was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court last month of leading a relentless campaign that exposed TV’s Mr Vine to an “avalanche of hate”.

Mr Vine referred to him as “the Jimmy Savile of trolling” during a trial in which he heard he had repeatedly posted or sent abusive messages, videos and emails.

The jury accepted that Belfield caused serious alarm or distress to two victims and found him guilty of “simple” stalking in relation to Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mr Vine and theater blogger Philip Dehany.

BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith was also told at the trial that he had been suicidal from a “tsunami of hate”.

Testifying against Belfield, of Mapperley, Nottingham, Mr Vine told the jury: “This is no ordinary troll here. This is the Jimmy Savile of trolling.”

Comparing watching Belfield’s videos to swimming in sewage, Mr Vine said of the defendant’s behaviour: “It felt like I had a fishing hook in my face and my flesh was being torn and the only way to avoid further pain was to was to remain perfectly still. ”

The jury convicted Belfield on four charges committed between 2012 and 2021.

Mr Justice Saini, who sentenced on Friday, told Belfield, who was taking notes in the dock, “Your offenses are so serious that only imprisonment can be justified.”

He said a prejudice report showed that while Belfield “fully acknowledges the plight of the victims,” ​​it also “highlights that you’re still focused on the impact it’s having on you and in some ways you feel unfairly treated.”

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