A former BBC radio presenter waged a 9 yr “campaign of harassment” in opposition to former colleagues together with Jeremy Vine after being axed from his mid-morning present, a court docket has heard.
Alex Belfield, 42, is accused of stalking eight members of BBC workers after bosses didn’t renew his contract at BBC Radio Leeds in 2011.
He bombarded presenters, editors and different colleagues with vile emails, tweets and messages, in addition to importing movies to his YouTube channel, jurors had been informed.
Belfield left BBC Radio 2 star Vine “distressed” and struggling to eat and sleep, the court docket heard.
Jurors had been informed Belfield accused the Channel 5 presenter of stealing BBC licence price cash in a string of abusive tweets and Youtube movies.
He additionally branded Vine “scum-sucking pond life” and provided to pay individuals to harass him, it was claimed.
A court docket additionally heard Belfield branded his managing editor an “odious vile woman” and a “spineless weasel”, whereas additionally making “sickening, misogynistic and transphobic” remarks.
His actions had been stated to have triggered his victims “serious alarm and distress” which impacted their each day lives because of the “ferocious and relentless” abuse.
Belfield, of Mapperley, Nottingham, went on trial Tuesday at Nottingham Crown Court accused of eight counts of stalking.
He could possibly be seen smirking and nodding within the dock as among the messages he was alleged to have despatched had been learn out to the court docket.
Opening the case, prosecutor John McGuinness QC stated Belfield had made a string of “distressing and gratuitous” allegations in opposition to his former workmates.
He stated: “There are eight counts of stalking which the defendant is charged with – each relating to a different individual.”
The stalking on this case isn’t the bodily sort, he informed the court docket, however “more akin to trolling”.
“The alleged victims did not want to be contacted by Alex Belfield, they did not want to see or hear or know what it was that he was saying about them. But he went ahead and did it anyway, relentlessly harassing them, knowing or being aware he was harassing them – to the extent that what he did caused them serious alarm or distress which affected their daily lives for the worse.”
The court docket was informed the primary offences befell throughout Belfield’s time at BBC Radio Leeds throughout his one yr stint there between 2010 and 2011.
Mr McGuinness added: “During this time he presented the mid-morning radio show on the station.
“His immediate boss was Rozina Breen, and another broadcaster, Liz Green, presented a talk show slot that followed immediately after Alex Belfield’s show.
“There were various issues during the time that Alex Belfield was employed at the BBC, which led to the involvement of Breen’s own superior, Helen Thomas, who was the managing editor.
“In early 2011, it was decided that Alex Belfield’s fixed term contract would not be renewed.
“After leaving the BBC, Alex Belfield brought further claims.
“A claim against Rozina Breen alleging that she had bullied and harassed him – but he did not pursue this claim to a hearing and was ordered to pay Rozina Breen’s costs.
“A claim against the BBC arising out of the ending of his contract of employment – this claim was resolved on the basis that the BBC would not enforce the earlier costs claim.
“He also made an internal complaint to the BBC Trust relating to the conduct of Rozina Breen and and Helen Thomas, which the BBC investigated – but again that came to nothing.
“Two items of evidence demonstrate how long-running Alex Belfield’s campaign has been against all three.
“On January 22, 2020 – almost nine years after Alex Belfield left the BBC he continued to take great pleasure in vilifying them to a public audience.
“He called Helen Thomas an ‘odious vile woman, ‘the most spineless weasel’ he had ever met in radio, ‘promoted for failure’ and ‘a truly sickening woman’.
“Intermittently over a period of about nine years after Alex Belfield left the BBC, he has made distressing and gratuitous allegations against all of them in offensive and hurtful terms.
“Helen Thomas said her everyday life was affected. She dreaded turning on her computer in case there was an email from Alex Belfield.
“She felt she was constantly under a microscope. She says she coped by shutting down her feelings about him.”
Another BBC Leeds presenter Stephanie Hurst was topic to “sickening, misogynistic and transphobic” remarks in opposition to her, the court docket was informed.
“Bernie Keith Spedding [BBC Northampton presenter] has drastically reduced his social media presence. He describes Alex Belfield’s lies as having a devastating effect. He has had security features added to his home address.”
Belfield, who’s representing himself and now broadcasts on YouTube, denies the fees.
The trial continues.