An ex-BBC DJ has been discovered responsible of stalking Jeremy Vine and 7 different former colleagues.
Alex Belfield, who hosts a radio channel on YouTube, waged a relentless nine-year marketing campaign of stalking towards eight victims after BBC Radio Leeds didn’t renew his contract in 2011.
One of the victims – TV and radio presenter Jeremy Vine – informed a trial at Nottingham Crown Court that 42-year-old Belfield was “the Jimmy Savile of trolling”.
The courtroom was informed Belfield repeatedly posted or despatched mocking and abusive social media messages, movies and emails after his one-year contract was not renewed.
Belfield, of Mapperley, Nottingham, had denied inflicting severe alarm or misery to Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mr Vine, former BBC Radio Leeds mid-morning present host Stephanie Hirst, BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith and 5 different individuals.
But he was convicted on 4 counts on Friday after jurors deliberated for 14 hours and 27 minutes.
Prosecutor John McGuinness QC stated Mr Vine was subjected to a “constant bombardment” of harassing tweets and YouTube movies in 2020.
The presenter, the courtroom heard, confronted a wave of abuse on-line after false and completely baseless claims had been made referring to the supposed theft of £1,000.
The courtroom additionally heard Ms Hirst felt the conduct towards her had been sickening, misogynistic and transphobic, whereas Mr Keith stated the alleged stalking had a devastating impact and had prompted him to put in further dwelling safety.
Mr McGuinness informed the courtroom the offences started in November 2012 – a yr after Belfield’s one-year contract at BBC Radio Leeds was not renewed.
The Crown alleged Belfield “wasn’t prepared to move on” after leaving the BBC and have become disgruntled by what he perceived to be unfair therapy from his managers.
However, Belfield informed the courtroom he was the sufferer of a “witch-hunt” and a “pile-on” by broadcasters.
The YouTube radio host opted to not give proof in his defence earlier than giving a closing speech claiming he was a whistle-blower who had seen two-and-a-half years of his life “torn apart” by police inquiries.
Giving proof in courtroom, Mr Keith stated his popularity was “now in shreds” after “proclamations of hate” and dying threats, which have affected his well being.
But Belfield denied making dying threats to anybody, including: “I think lockdown made it fun to close me down… because I am the only person in lockdown who actually became more successful.
“My channel took off during lockdown because people were lonely – I became their voice of reason.
“Had there been a death threat there is absolutely no way the BBC would have thrown them in the bin.”