Former BBC Radio presenter Alex Belfield to pay damages to detective after losing libel case

Alex Belfield, former BBC presenter, appears at Nottingham Crown Court
Alex Belfield, former BBC presenter, appears at Nottingham Crown Court -Credit:SWNS

Former BBC presenter Alex Belfield has been ordered to pay substantial damages after the convicted stalker falsely accused the Nottinghamshire Police detective investigating him of corruption. Detective Constable Janet Percival has won her libel action against the disgraced radio presenter, who was convicted of criminal harassment in September 2022 and sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

In July 2020 DC Percival was put in charge of the criminal investigation into complaints by a number of individuals, including broadcaster Jeremy Vine, of harassment and cyber stalking by Belfield. He then started broadcasting YouTube videos which made very serious allegations against Janet Percival, all of which were untrue.

Over the course of some 15 videos, he accused her of numerous acts of misconduct and corruption including acting unlawfully in police raids on his home, repeatedly lying to the courts, making threats against him, changing a witness statement to mislead the court, receiving corrupt payments, and unlawfully taking equipment from him. Belfield dismissed DC Percival's legal letter, prompting her to start court proceedings for libel - a statement about someone that is untrue and would harm the reputation or livelihood of that person.

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After losing the case, Belfield will have to pay the officer a substantial sum for compensation and legal costs, and in court he offered a "sincere and unqualified apology" for the embarrassment and distress caused by his lies. DC Percival’s solicitor, Jeremy Clarke-Williams of Penningtons Manches Cooper, told the court that: “As a serving police officer Janet Percival is unfortunately used to dealing with hostility from people she has arrested, but Alex Belfield’s online campaign peddling serious untruths about her was something she could not ignore. It was too damaging.”

The detective explained her court victory would allow her to focus on policing without Belfield’s false allegations hanging over her. "I am very pleased that through taking this action I have been able to vindicate my reputation, which is very precious to me," she said.

"I take pride in always conducting myself professionally and honestly as a police officer, and the baseless and false allegations which Mr Belfield broadcast about me were extremely upsetting. It is a huge relief that I can now get on with my police career without this cloud hanging over me.”