A former BBC radio DJ has been jailed for five years and 26 weeks after being convicted of four stalking charges againast broadcasters including Jeremy Vine.
Alex Belfield, 42, was found guilty at a trial at Nottingham Crown Court last month of waging a relentless stalking campaign, with Vine labelling him “the Jimmy Savile of trolling”.
Jurors accepted Belfield caused serious alarm or distress to two victims.
He was also found guilty of a lesser stalking charge in relation to Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Vine and theatre blogger Philip Dehany.
BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith was left feeling suicidal by a “tsunami of hate,” the trial heard.
“It felt like I had a fish hook in my face and my flesh was being torn, and the only way to avoid further pain was to stay completely still,” he said.
Jurors convicted Belfield, of Mapperley, Nottingham, of four charges committed between 2012 and 2021.
Mr Justice Saini, sentencing Belfield, said: “Your offences are so serious, only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
He added a pre-sentence report showed while Belfield “fully acknowledges the distress to victims” it also “highlights you still appear to focus on the impact on you and feel in certain respects you’ve been unfairly treated”.
The judge told Belfield that while not “traditional stalking”, “your methods were just as effective a way of intimidating victims and in many ways much harder to deal with”.
He added there was “no escape” for his victims until bail conditions were imposed ahead of his trial.
He also agreed with Mr Vine’s characterisation that the ex-DJ had “weaponised the internet” against those he targeted.