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Former BBC presenter jailed after ‘weaponising the internet’
Former BBC present Alex Belfield sentenced to five and a half years having been found guilty of stalking 4 people, including Jeremy Vine.
Former BBC presenter Alex Belfield was found guilty of stalking four people and sentenced to five and a half years in prison. What is unusual about Belfield’s case in that he used social media, and You Tube to inflict pain and misery onto those he was abusing, demonstrating the very real effects of trolling.
Belfield used his social media platforms to launch attacks against other presenters, submitting them to torrent of social media messages and encouraging those who followed him on his various platforms to attack others as well. One of his victims Bernard Spedding had received abusive message for over nine years, including death threats. The court heard how this had caused Mr Spedding considerable psychological harm.
The case can be used as an example of how cyber-crime has become a real offence and how the criminal justice system are taking threats like these more seriously, but can also be questioned as to why it took so long for Mr Belfield to be prosecuted for his offences against Mr. Spedding and others. Further debate around issues of free speech could be entered into and how in the internet age, actions have very real consequences for both the victim and the offender.