Jeremy Vine has blasted social media companies after a former BBC local radio presenter was jailed for stalking him.
Alex Belfield was last month found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of waging a campaign against a number of figures from the broadcasting world, including the Radio 2 presenter.
On Friday he was jailed for five years and 26 weeks.
Jurors accepted he caused serious alarm or distress to two victims and found him guilty of “simple” stalking in relation to Jeremy and theatre blogger Philip Dehany.
Jeremy Vine (Photo by Lia Toby/PA Images via Getty Images) (Photo: Lia Toby - PA Images via Getty Images)
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Jeremy criticised platforms such as YouTube and Twitter, saying: “We had to get lawyers to get his shit taken down, and even then it’s hard.
“The companies just say no. They don’t have any moral values.”
Jeremy added that stalking is common for broadcasters, which he described as “the industrial disease of broadcasting.”
He added: “Of my three best female friends at the BBC, all of them have had stalkers.
“I think stalking is the industrial disease of broadcasting.”
Speaking about feeling more cautious about interacting with listeners online, he said: “I love hearing from them, but (Belfield) has poisoned it.
“The lagoon has been turned black.”
Ex-BBC presenter Alex Belfield arrives at Nottingham Crown Court for trial charged with stalking corporation staff members. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images) (Photo: Jacob King - PA Images via Getty Images)
Jurors convicted Belfield of four charges committed between 2012 and 2021.
During sentencing, Mr Justice Saini told him: “Your offences are so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
Belfield, who has 359,000 followers on his YouTube channel, The Voice Of Reason, and 43,000 on Twitter, directed his attacks via social media “in highly negative and often abusive terms”, the judge said.
As well as jailing Belfield, Mr Justice Saini issued indefinite restraining orders banning him from contacting his victims.
YouTube and Twitter have been contacted for comment.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.