A former BBC radio presenter has been jailed for five years after a judge found him guilty of stalking four people, including a fellow broadcaster, and “weaponising the internet”.
Alex Belfield was convicted last month of harassing his victims online – posting social media messages, sending emails and even encouraging followers of his YouTube channel to target them.
One of Belfield’s victims was the famous TV and radio presenter Jeremy Vine. The judge said Belfield had made “totally false” allegations about Mr Wynne stealing £1,000 of BBC licensees’ money. “You were not a whistleblower in any sense but developed a fixation with pursuing Mr Wynne with a campaign of abuse,” the judge commented.
In announcing the sentence, the judge referred to one victim, BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernard Speeding, who he said had received death threats and was attracted to Belfield. As a result, he has come close to killing himself.
The judge told Belfield: “You deprived this highly successful and confident radio presenter of all the joys of life and turned her into a shell.”
He added: “The stalking you committed was not the traditional type that is popular in the press. However, your methods were as effective as a way of intimidating your victims, and in many ways. were It’s very difficult to deal with.”
Belfield will serve half of his sentence in prison and the remainder on licence, the judge said.