Jeremy Vine says his jailed stalker has promised to be back
Jeremy Vine has said that his jailed stalker has promised to return upon his release from prison.
Alex Belfield was jailed for five-and-a-half years last week after being found guilty of stalking four people including the popular TV and radio broadcaster.
Talking to the BBC's Newsnight programme, Vine spoke about the impact that Belfield's stalking had on him as well as the failure of social media companies to do anything about it.
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Vine said: "I was afraid of what he could do to my family. I was afraid because you have to think around corners with this stuff."
He added: "And, you know, we've seen knife attacks on MPs, MPs being killed, people who are prominent being attacked. So I'm not trying to give myself undue status here, but I had to think this through."
While Belfield was not a physical stalker and never approached Vine personally, he uploaded masses of videos about the TV presenter and also posted his address online.
YouTube have said that they have removed monetisation from Belfield's channel and also taken down several of his videos for violating its policies, mainly threatening other individuals.
But Vine criticised social media companies as Belfield posted several harassing messages and videos on Twitter and YouTube.
He said of the tech giants: "They take down individual videos and then when he's convicted, they demonetised him.
Watch: Jeremy Vine calls for online giants to take action over stalker videos
"But half the videos about me are still out there. But the fact that YouTube hosts this stuff, they have no responsibility. They don't care."
Belfield, 42, who “weaponised the internet”, was last month found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of waging a relentless campaign, with TV’s Mr Vine subjected to an “avalanche of hatred”.
Mr Vine labelled him “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 found him 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 suicidal by a “tsunami of hate”, the trial was also told.
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