A former BBC DJ has been warned he faces jail after being found guilty of waging a relentless stalking campaign against broadcasters and subjecting TV presenter Jeremy Vine to an “avalanche of hatred”.
Alex Belfield was labelled “the Jimmy Savile of trolling” during a trial which heard he repeatedly posted or sent abusive messages, videos and emails.
Jurors accepted Belfield caused serious alarm or distress to two victims and was found guilty of “simple” stalking in relation to Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mr Vine and theatre blogger Philip Dehany.
BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith was left feeling suicidal by a “tsunami of hate”, the trial heard.
Mr Vine also gave evidence against Belfield, telling jurors: “This is not a regular troll here. This is the Jimmy Savile of trolling.”
Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court deliberated for 14 hours and 27 minutes before convicting Belfield of four charges on Friday.
The trial judge, Mr Justice Saini, adjourned sentence until September and told Belfield: “There’s a good chance of a custodial sentence.”
The court was told the 42-year-old, of Mapperley, Nottingham, started out as a broadcast assistant on local radio and in recent years set up a YouTube channel known as Celebrity Radio.
Vine was subjected to a “constant bombardment” of harassing tweets and YouTube videos in 2020.
He faced a wave of abuse online after false and entirely baseless claims were made relating to the supposed theft of £1,000.
Belfield is said to have developed a “dislike, almost hatred” of Mr Vine after the BBC donated the sum to a memorial fund set up to honour a friend of the broadcaster.
In his evidence, Mr Vine, who launched separate defamation proceedings last year, said of Belfield: “I found it shocking and distressing, and it made me worried. I have in the past had a physical stalker who followed me.
“That is a picnic compared to this guy. It’s like an avalanche of hatred that you get hit by.”
Belfield was granted bail and will be sentenced on September 16.