Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court have heard four weeks of evidence in the trial of Alex Belfield, who claims he is the victim of a “witch-hunt” and an online “pile-on” by other broadcasters.
The YouTube radio host, 42, opted not to give evidence, but used his defence closing speech to describe himself as a whistleblower who had seen two and a half years of his life “torn apart” by police inquiries.
Prosecutors allege Belfield used social media messages, videos and emails to cause serious alarm or distress to eight people including Channel 5 and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mr Vine, former BBC Radio Leeds mid-morning show host Stephanie Hirst, and BBC Radio Northampton’s Bernie Keith.
Belfield, from Mapperley, Nottingham, denies eight counts of stalking spanning a period between 2012 and 2021, after his contract with BBC Radio Leeds was not renewed.
Addressing last week, Belfield told Nottingham Crown Court he had chosen not to testify because a transcript of his police interviews had been read to the jury.
Asserting that his position had not changed since his comments to police, Belfield said of his time at the BBC: "I, in fact, was bullied. I, in fact, was the victim.
"I have never been a threat to anyone at the BBC other than to expose what they don't want me to talk about.”
The Crown alleges Belfield’s conduct after his contract with BBC Radio Leeds ended in 2011 “went beyond any reasonable exercise of free speech rights”.
The jury, which has so far been in retirement for three-and-a-half hours, was sent home and will resume its deliberations at 10am on Wednesday.