Former BBC DJ Alex Belfield has been discovered in charge of the relentless stalking of different broadcasters, together with Jeremy Vine, who he subjected to an “avalanche of hatred”.
The ex-radio host, who introduced on BBC Radio Leeds, was once labelled “the Jimmy Savile of trolling” all over a tribulation which heard he again and again posted or despatched abusive messages, movies and emails.
Jurors at Nottingham Crown Courtroom authorized Belfield led to critical alarm or misery to 2 sufferers and he was once discovered in charge of “easy stalking” in terms of Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mr Vine and theatre blogger Philip Dehaney.
Mr Vine additionally gave proof in opposition to Belfield, telling jurors: “This isn’t a normal troll right here. That is the Jimmy Savile of trolling.”
Describing observing Belfield’s video output as like swimming in sewage, Mr Vine mentioned: “It felt like I had a fish hook in my face and my flesh was once being torn, and the one solution to keep away from additional ache was once to stick utterly nonetheless.”
Jurors convicted the YouTube host, who in recent times arrange a channel referred to as Famous person Radio, after deliberating for 14 hours and 27 mins.
The 42-year-old was once additionally discovered in charge of stalking BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith and videographer Ben Hewis.
Belfield informed the court docket he was once the sufferer of a social media “pile-on” and a “witch-hunt” via different broadcasters after exercising his rights to freedom of speech in communications with the complainants.
Opening the Crown’s case closing month, prosecutor John McGuinness QC mentioned Vine was once subjected to a “consistent bombardment” of harassing tweets and YouTube movies in 2020.
The presenter, the court docket heard, confronted a wave of abuse on-line after false and fully baseless claims have been made in relation to the meant robbery of £1,000.
Belfield is alleged to have evolved a “dislike, virtually hatred” of Mr Vine after the BBC donated the sum to a memorial fund set as much as honour a chum of the broadcaster.
Giving proof, Mr Vine mentioned: “I discovered it surprising and distressing, and it made me anxious. I’ve previously had a bodily stalker who adopted me.
“That may be a picnic in comparison to this man. It is like an avalanche of hatred that you just get hit via.”
Belfield was once discovered now not in charge of stalking fees in terms of the BBC’s former head of north, Rozina Breen, former BBC Radio Leeds presenters Liz Inexperienced and Stephanie Hirst, and previous BBC employee Helen Thomas.
Mr McGuinness informed the court docket: “It’s not prompt the defendant’s habits concerned bodily stalking… even if such was once the impact of what Alex Belfield did that some have been, in reality, anxious about the opportunity of Mr Belfield turning up at their houses.
“The stalking which this situation is concerned about is of a special kind – and is extra corresponding to web trolling.
“The alleged sufferers didn’t wish to be contacted via Alex Belfield, they didn’t wish to see or pay attention or know what it was once that he was once announcing about them.
“However he went forward and he did it anyway, the prosecution says, relentlessly harassing them, understanding or being conscious he was once harassing them – to the level that what he did led to them critical alarm or misery which affected their day by day lives for the more serious.”
He was once granted bail and will likely be sentenced on 16 September.