Masih Ullah had arrived at the prison 12 days earlier
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Stalker Alex Belfield claims to have shelled out more than £300,000 on his case already as he spoke in the wake of the jury’s verdicts on charges he flatly denied. Speaking in the summer sunshine to camera on his YouTube Channel, he said sentencing is on September 16 and the bail conditions continue.
His message to his viewers in full after the verdicts were delivered at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday (August 5) was this: “It is a Friday afternoon and this is the Voice of Reason from Nottingham Crown Court. My name is Alex Belfield and the jury has decided. There were eight victims of stalking, R v Alex Belfield, and they have come back with four no guilties, two stalking verdicts and two simple stalking verdicts.
“Judge Saini recommended getting legal advice, as you know I have spent over £300,000 already, and he said we will get to sentencing on September 16. The bail conditions continue. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to comment until this is over, so I won’t be doing so, and that is what has happened today at Nottingham Crown Court”.
Meanwhile, prosecutors thanked witnesses in the case for their willingness to give evidence. Sheryl Monk, District Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands, spoke as Belfield, 42, of Shaldon Close in Mapperley, was convicted on four stalking allegations and cleared of a further four after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
Prosecutors alleged Belfield used social media messages, videos and emails to cause serious alarm or distress to his victims including Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine and BBC Radio Northampton’s Bernie Keith after Belfield’s contract with BBC Radio Leeds was not renewed. Belfield was cleared of the charge of stalking, which was said to have caused Jeremy Vine serious alarm or distress, but was convicted of simple stalking.
In relation to Keith, he was convicted by a majority of stalking which “caused alarm or distress” and similarly to videographer Ben Hewis, who had never worked for the BBC. Belfield, who denied eight allegations, was further convicted of the simple stalking of threate blogger Philip Dehany, who was a pal of former Love Island presenter Caroline Flack.
In court, Mr Dehany defended a video he made where he accused Belfield of “perpetuating hate crime and he is a cyber bully”.
Sheryl Monk said: “Stalking is a very serious crime that has a severe impact on its victims. Alex Belfield’s conduct, in the form of messages, broadcasts, insults and threats, left his victims fearful and anxious. Victims feared for their families and gave accounts to the jury of the terrible impact of Belfield’s abuse on their private lives.
“Throughout this trial, victims and other witnesses have given evidence with dignity and I would like to thank them for willingness to give evidence. Alex Belfield had no qualms about the abuse he handed out, in many cases publicly. The extent of his abusive behaviour provided clear evidence that this conduct was stalking.”
“The CPS is determined to protect victims of stalking and prevent reoffending.
“Cases of stalking are usually understood as the perpetrator physically following the victim or harassing them in person. Alex Belfield did not appear at victims’ homes or workplaces, but he was a constant presence online or on social media in the victims’ lives, say the CPS.
“His actions online, whether in the form of messages sent directly to victims, personal comments directed at them from his broadcasts or him contacting friends, family and colleagues had the same devastating impact on his victims. They were not easy to avoid, as even when the victim turned off their social media or blocked him he would find other routes, change his email address or contact people close to them. He would also ask followers of his channel to assist by sending their emails and tweets to his victims.
“The CPS’s case was that the sustained nature of this abuse amounted to stalking. Alex Belfield argued in his defence that as a journalist and broadcaster, his conduct amounted to free speech. The CPS presented evidence that his conduct went beyond the limits of freedom of speech and impacted adversely on the victims’ right to a private life.
“There was a large amount of material in this case harvested from various social media outlets and email addresses. The CPS worked closely with the police team to present an account of the messages and broadcasts so the jury could be clear about the volume and nature of his communications.
“The victims gave their evidence to demonstrate to the jury the impact that Alex Belfield’s behaviour had on them. This is not an easy process and some witnesses endured being cross-examined by Belfield himself when his QC was ill. The CPS supported these victims in giving their evidence, obtaining special measures and seeking an order from the judge to have an advocate appointed by the court to cross examine the victims.
“It is only thanks to witnesses being prepared to come forward and give evidence that the criminal justice system can function and the prosecution team can hold people to account”.
Written by: thehitnetwork
Masih Ullah had arrived at the prison 12 days earlier