Former BBC Radio presenter Alex Belfield, 41, who is accused of stalking Jeremy Vine shouts ‘it’s a BBC witch hunt’ in court
- Alex Belfield, 41, of Nottingham, described his trial as a ‘BBC witch hunt’ in court
- The YouTube host of ‘The Voice of Reason’ is accused of 12 counts of stalking, of Jeremy Vine and harassment of seven other members of the Corporation’s staff
- Judge Steven Coupland told Belfield after his outburst: ‘No further commentary’
- The ex-Radio 2 DJ will face a six-week trial into stalking allegations in July 2022
A former BBC DJ accused of stalking BBC star Jeremy Vine described his trial as a ‘witch hunt’ when he appeared in court today.
Alex Belfield, 41, who hosts The Voice of Reason on YouTube, is accused of 12 stalking charges against the broadcaster and harassing seven other colleagues.
The ex-BBC Radio Leeds prsenter of Mapperley, Nottingham, appeared at the city’s crown court today where he spectacularly deemed his trial a ‘BBC witch hunt’.
Following Belfield’s outburst Judge Steven Coupland told him: ‘No further commentary, thank you.’
Alex Belfield, 41, who hosts The Voice of Reason on YouTube, is accused of 12 stalking charges against the broadcaster and harassing seven other colleagues
Belfield is accused of stalking eight of his colleagues between November 2012 and March 2021, while Jeremy Vine (above) was said to have been targeted between April 2020, and March 2021
Belfield is charged with 12 counts of stalking by causing serious alarm or distress which had a substantial adverse effect on the complainants’ usual day-to-day activities.
He is accused of stalking eight of his colleagues between November 25, 2012 and March 31, 2021, while Jeremy Vine was said to have been targeted between April 2, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
Belfield, who now presents a YouTube channel called ‘Voice of Reason’, will stand trial next July.
John Halissey, prosecuting, said: ‘It seems to be that with the reach of the eight complainants, the length of the evidence and the messages and emails, it seems to be a six-week slot is appropriate.’
Judge Coupland asked Belfield’s defence solicitor Luke Ponte: ‘What is the statutory defence?’
Mr Ponte replied: ‘Journalistic freedom of expression.
‘The statutory defence that is pleaded is in essence that it was pursued under an enactment or rule of law and was an expression of his free speech and that it was subjectively reasonable.
The ex-BBCDJ, of Mapperley, Nottingh am, appeared at the city’s crown court today where he spectacularly deemed his trial a ‘BBC witch hunt’
‘He is not disputing the underlying acts, he is disputing it did in fact cause the complainants serious alarm or distress such that it had an impact on their everyday activities.
‘It is likely that the defence will be calling defence witnesses and will be giving notice in the defence statement.
‘They’re going to be character witnesses to fact and potential expert evidence in the world of trolling and investigative journalism.’
Belfield was given conditional bail and ordered to return to court on November 4 before next year’s six-week trial.