BBC Radio DJ Jimmy Savile was tagged the ‘Jimmy Savile Of Trolling’. He has been found guilty for stalking Jeremy Vine, other celebrities and unleashing a tsunami’ of hatred over nine years.

Alex Belfield was accused of subjecting  BBC presenter Vine to 11 months of ‘personal and unpleasant attacks’ on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

He also felt suicidal, according to a court.

According to the 42-year-old, Vine had not been spied on and seven others alleged victims. He also claimed that Vine was the object of a witch hunt. 

A jury at Nottingham Crown Court found him guilty today of other charges, including stalking Keith and videographer Ben Hewis and simple stalking in relation to Philip Dehany and Vine. 

The four additional charges of stalking BBC employees have been dismissed. He will be sentenced in due course.

Belfield from Mapperley (Nottingham) showed no emotions and wrote on a piece o paper when the verdicts came out. 

Vine was a respected broadcaster who had once sobbed at the courthouse. He described how he was targeted by the “Jimmy Savile Of Trolling” while giving evidence to a YouTube host who allegedly stalked him.

According to the broadcaster, being harassed and intimidated by Alex Belfield (who has more than 372,000 subscribers on video-sharing platform), was like being caught with a hook in your face and having my flesh torn. 

Alex Belfield

Jeremy Vine (left), gave evidence during the trial against Alex Belfield (right), former BBC Radio Leeds host. Both are pictured in front of the court

Prosecutors claimed Vine, aged 57, was the victim of a “relentless” online campaign. This included an 11-month-long ‘wave’ of unpleasant and personal attacks via YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Vine declared, “It left my fear numb…this was definitely Olympic level stalking.”  

Belfield, who is also accused of encouraging his supporters to hoax Vine’s Channel 5 TV or BBC Radio 2 shows to call, claimed Vine appointed his 10-year-old daughter as director of one his companies to avoid paying taxes and sought private numbers to his relatives.

Vine also told Nottingham Crown Court that he had not been aware of Belfield until the 42-year-old said from a broadcasting studio that he liked to watch a female weather presenter on his leather sofa, ‘naked and with a box of tissues handy’.

According to the BBC’s presenter, he had received an “avalanche” of hate from internet users due to Belfield’s videos. He also said that cameras were placed in his house because he was afraid one of Belfield’s disciples might launch a knife attack or acid attack against him and his family.

Belfield, pictured here arriving at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday, was found guilty of two counts of simple stalking and two counts of stalking to cause alarm and distress

Belfield was pictured arriving at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday. He was found guilty on two counts each of simple stalking, and one count of stalking that causes alarm or distress

Former BBC DJ faces charges

Alex Belfield was charged with the stalking of eight media personalities and broadcasters.

A jury at Nottingham Crown Court spent over 14 hours deliberating after a trial. Then, they returned with their verdicts.

A jury can find him guilty of either the more serious offense of simple stalking (simply stalking) or not guilty.

He was charged with stalking and causing distress to the people below:

1Rozina Breen, the BBC’s ex-head of northern Rozina – You are not guilty

Count 2 Former BBC Radio Leeds presenter Liz Green – You are not guilty

Count 3 Helen Thomas, former managing editor at BBC Radio Leeds Helen Thomas You are not guilty 

Count 4 Former BBC Radio Leeds presenter Stephanie Hirst – You are not guilty

Count 5BBC Radio Northampton DJ Bernie Keith You are guilty

Count 6 Videographer Ben Hirst –Guilty

7. Philip Dehany is a theatre blogger It is not a crime, but it is possible to be accused of simple stalking

8. BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine – You are not guilty. But you are guilty of simple stalking

Vine stated to the court that he was dealing with serious criminality. This is not an ordinary troll. This is the Jimmy Savile trolling. His mere mention makes me itch. His only act is to lie.

Vine was even forced to post a Belfield picture in his hallway to warn his daughter, 13, to keep her safe while walking down the street. This caused her to cry.

Vine, dressed in a navy suit with a tie and a navy shirt, often glared at Belfield as he testified that he was a ‘nasty and nasty man’ who’s actions were, he stated, ‘crazy, wicked.

He told how he’d never heard of Belfield, himself a former BBC radio host, until April 2020 when an acquaintance sent him a link to a video on YouTube that featured a ‘rant’ about him – with Belfield concluding: ‘This guy really p***** me off.’

Vine claimed that Vine wished he had not seen it. He added, “Watching Vine swim in sewage is like watching a man.”

He added that in one incident, which he understands may have got Belfield fired, a young weather forecaster was the subject of ‘disgusting’ remarks. 

Vine stated to the court, “You are a good person.” [Belfield] were on the air and a young weather forecaster was sat down in Mr Belfield’s studio. To confirm my memory, I heard it again two days later.

“You stated: I like to sit with you at my home on my leather couch.” You said: “I’m usually naked” and “I like to have a box of tissues handy.” It was disgusting, I thought.

‘I’m saying it contributed to you being fired as it rightly should have. You’ve said your name in court and you’ve got that right. All that brought me to this point is a lie.

‘I haven’t heard you say anything truthful in court today. I didn’t want to be cross examined by you as you’ve caused so much turmoil in your life.

You are the Jimmy Savile trolling. By proxy you force others to send messages. They were not separated by months or weeks, but by days and sometimes even hours. The broadcasting was on consecutive days. 

“I’m afraid of you.”

Belfield was addressed by him. He said: “I didn’t know anything about your BBC career, until you made comments about a forecaster. I think because journalism holds truth, you’re not (a journalist).

I was afraid of what you wanted to do.

“I put in a new camera system at my home. Two cameras were purchased and I donated two to my neighbor.

Jurors were told that there was a constant bombardment of messages, videos and tweets, which Belfield then became increasingly abusive.

Vine said that Vine is starting to dislike me personally.

“This is starting to become more worrying because Alex is clearly versus Jeremy, and he obviously has an agenda. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a problem.

He added that in one period, Belfield had made 124 references to him in his online content in just 14 days – and started falsely claiming that Vine had ‘stolen’ £1,000 of licence fee payers’ money to put towards a memorial for radio executive John Myers, who died at the age of 60.

Vine broke down when he revealed to jurors how the accusation which he called a “complete lie” had lead to one troll attacking an online tribute Vine posted to his father who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2018.

His comment was: “His comment was that he thought his father would have said, “What would he say if he found out that his son was a thieving rag?” It was too much for me. It was too much. I called the police.

According to the BBC’s star, he had received a lot of terrible messages from Twitter. It’s incredibly powerful thing to say “this man took your money for his friends funeral and a p***up”. All of this is false.

Vine stated, turning to the jury: ‘The danger that Belfield posed for me was a dozen times greater.  He doesn’t know and I don’t know if his 500,000 [YouTube]My followers may find me.

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

Belfield takes a selfie in front of Nottingham Crown Court, before an earlier appearance 

Vine said that Belfield from Mapperley (Nottingham) escalated harassment to a ‘week-to-week’ level, and claimed: ‘He acts through persistence, repetition.

‘I couldn’t sleep. It is all you think about 24/7.

The court was played a series of Belfield’s videos about Vine, in which he repeatedly referred to the missing £1,000 and described him a ‘c***’, a ‘sanctimonious p****’, and said he had ‘blood on his hands’ over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vine, shaking his head as he watched the footage, said that he had two daughters. Anna, our 13-year-old daughter at the time of this incident.

“I needed to tell her about it, and she and her sister sat down with me.

“I told him that he hates me. He has made accusations of me of theft, so he is going to drive so much hatred toward me.

“We kept a photo of him in the hallway. It was thought that it could be possible for one of his half-a million followers to have an acid or knife.

“Imagine telling a thirteen-year-old this? It was so hard to see her shrinking. She was still in tears, and it took her a whole year to feel confident enough to go out of the house.

“She’s his victim too, and he doesn’t know her name.”

“There’s quite a bit of stalking within broadcasting. But none of my friends have seen any such behavior.”

“This is Olympic-level stalking.”

Vine spoke out about the effects Belfield’s campaign on Vine, describing how it had left him “shredded”.

A jury at Nottingham Crown Court found Belfield guilty of stalking four people, but cleared him of four other stalking charges

Belfield was found guilty by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of stalking 4 people. He was also cleared of the following stalking charges

He said, “It unleashed incredible hatred against me. Belfield was the direct cause of 5,000-10,000 hateful tweets from me.

“He went on and on. He kept going. I felt anxious. For a while, I was unable to eat or rest.

“I was hurt and could not escape.

“I had a physical follower who followed my every move. This guy was far more dangerous than that. The videos of him are still available online. In 1,000 years my great, great grandchildren will see stories about how I stole £1,000, and there is nothing I can do about it.’

Vine claimed that the abuse ended only when Belfield was investigated by police. He could not produce any videos of Belfield because of his bail conditions.

He stated, “That has given us all a year when we can just recall what it was like to be BB – before Belfield.

After 14 hours of deliberate work, Belfield was cleared by the jury of only half the charges against him.

He was found not guilty by the jury of stalking Rozina Breen, former BBC head of North; ex-BBC Radio Leeds presenters Liz Green, Stephanie Hirst and Helen Thomas. 

He was found guilty by the BBC Radio Northampton station of stalking to cause distress and alarm against Bernie Keith (broadcaster) and Ben Hewis (videographer). 

The court also convicted him on other charges, including simple stalking with Jeremy Vine as well as theatre blogger Philip Dehany. This is stalking that doesn’t cause alarm or distress.

On September 16, he will be sentenced by the same court.