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  • Writer's picturePhilip Dehany

ALEX BELFIELD: The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth

Updated: Aug 31, 2023


WATCH MY YOUTUBE VIDEOS ⬇️


MY CROWDFUNDER:


Please help me to raise legal fees to claim compensation from ex BBC presenter Alex Belfield who harassed and stalked me, and then threatened “he’d be back”.


I am raising money through Crowd Justice. All the money raised will go directly to Samuel Solicitors.



I am Philip Dehany. I was a theatre blogger and am now a volunteer for the Terrence Higgins Trust.


I am one of the several victims who were harassed by former BBC presenter Alex Belfield, which led to him being jailed for five and a half years. After his trial concluded, but before he was sentenced, Belfield publicly revealed information about my HIV status. I am now claiming compensation from him in the civil courts, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Belfield’s awful campaign of harassment against me, (much of which was directed at my sexuality) continued even during and after his trial. He constantly published harassing videos about me and others, and made a lot of money from YouTube advertising revenue and by asking for donations from his followers.

The impact upon me has been huge - my reputation has been seriously damaged and I lost my passion, confidence and ultimately my income as a theatre blogger. I am now seeking therapy.


I have now spent over £5,500 in legal fees and have to raise £15,000 to proceed with my claim.

Unless Belfield agrees to settle with me, which seems very unlikely, I will have no choice but to issue court proceedings against him and my costs to take the matter all the way to trial could reach £100,000.

I will continue to update this article with my full account of what happened. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I will be uploading all of my evidence that was submitted during the five week trial, and detailing every step of this horrendous ordeal and how it affected me. I will also be uploading videos on my YouTube Channel.


If you are able to help, donate or share my story, thank-you.


Timeline-


I first complained to the BBC legal department about Belfield’s behaviour on 1 January 2020. They advised me to contact the police.


On 12 April 2020 I reported Belfield’s behaviour to YouTube as “Hateful or Abusive content”.


On 17 April 2020 I first filed a “hate crime/incident reporting form” to the Metropolitan Police.


On 10 August 2020 I emailed DC Janet Percival at Nottingham Police, after being informed that she was dealing with multiple complaints regarding Alex Belfield. It was Nottinghamshire Police who decided to pursue the criminal case against Belfield.


On 5 October 2020 I received a letter from Alex Belfield’s solicitor, Henri Brandman, threatening to sue me for damages, for claiming that Belfield “abused and harassed BBC colleagues for a number of years” (which of course he had).


On 25 October 2020 I filed a further criminal complaint against Alex Belfield.


On 16 June 2021 Alex Belfield was charged with 12 counts of stalking by causing serious alarm or distress which had a substantial adverse effect on the complainants' usual day-to-day activities. He was accused of stalking eight individuals (including me) between 25 November 2012 and 31 March 2021.


From 26 to 27 July 2022 I attended Nottingham Crown Court to present two days of evidence against Belfield during the five week trial ‘R v Belfield’.


On 27- 30 July 2022 Belfield uploaded three new videos on his YouTube channel in relation to my HIV status.


On 5 August 2022 Belfield was found guilty of stalking four people, including myself and BBC Presenter Jeremy Vine.


On 6 August 2022 I commenced my civil claim against Belfield, instructing Judith Thompson at Samuels Solicitors.

On 16 August 2022 YouTube refused to take down the videos that Belfield posted about my HIV+ status, saying “they were unable to identify a violation”.

On 16 September 2022 Belfield was jailed for five and a half years.


On 28 February 2023 Samuels Solicitors submitted a letter of claim to Belfield. He has not responded positively, and therefore I now have no option but to issue a claim in the High Court, to sue Alex Belfield for damages.


THE TRIAL


Firstly, please find further reading here that summarise the case:

These are the sentencing remarks from the case ‘R v Belfield’ detailing the full case:


Count 7: Philip Dehaney


As to Count 7 concerning Mr Dehaney, the jury acquitted you of the more serious form of stalking but found you guilty of the lesser alternative of the basic stalking offence. I must respect the jury’s acquittal on the more serious charge and it is of relevance when I consider the levels of harm caused.


Like Mr Hewis, Mr Dehaney was the subject of a vicious and continued campaign of abuse principally by way of YouTube videos. He was a theatre critic and blogger who did not wish to be tagged by you into what he regarded as offensive tweets about those in the industry. He had never met you. He asked that you cease. Your online attacks and emails began in the early New Year 2020. You wrongly believed that he had repeated the contents of the Hewis tweet. You again made false representations as to intended legal action. This victim started a blog in which he provided a day to day account of your abusive conduct. That inflamed you further. When Mr Dehaney became uncontactable and refused to engage with you, you went as far as calling his mother during the lockdown at the family home. We heard a recording of that call. She is clearly a robust and impressive person. Everyone needs a mum like her. Mr Dehaney’s mother repeatedly and fairly asked you again and again what had her son done that was wrongyou failed to provide any answer. The call was in my judgment part of the harassment of her son who stood by her while she took this call. It was an outrageous and cruel act to call her and to make a recording. Not only did you record the conversation, you then made false and misleading comments about what she had said about her son, seeking to demean him in a public forum. Getting his parents involved caused serious and continuing fractures in Mr Dehaney’s relationship with them and in particular with his father. You also sought to humiliate Mr Dehaney about his mental health in your postings and videos. Further, you sought to in effect blackmail him by revealing details of a long spent conviction. The content of the YouTube videos you made about him at a time when he was clearly vulnerable and shielding with his parents during the first Lockdown was shocking.


The statutory maximum for this offence is 6 months imprisonment. I have to however consider the guideline.


I find that this offence falls within category A1 of the relevant stalking guideline. That is the highest category. As to culpability, your actions were planned, repetitive and intended to cause Mr Dehaney distress and included hostility based on his sexual orientation. I do not consider the fact that you are a member of the LBGTQ+ community means you cannot have acted with hostility based on Mr Dehaney’s sexual orientation. As to harm, having regard to the jury’s verdicts including the acquittal, I find harm and distress including psychological harm were caused to Mr. Dehaney. Mr Dehaney has been unable to continue his blogging enterprise as a result of your actions. This was a significant change in lifestyle.


The category A1 starting point is 12 weeks custody with a range of a high level community order to 26 weeks custody.


As to aggravating factors increasing seriousness and justifying upward movement, there is one matter which I have not already taken into account. It is the fact that you posted publicly about him and that resulted in followers of your social media profiles abusing Mr Dehaney. That magnified the effect of your abuse. These matters push the offence up in the category range.


As to downward adjustment, the mitigation is lack of previous convictions, good character and some remorse in the form I have stated. I also have to have regard to the principle of totality and have adjusted my sentence.


I impose a sentence of imprisonment of 13 weeks for Count 7 to run consecutively to the sentence on Count 6.


This is an article published in The Guardian including an interview I did with Helen Pidd.

This is a news article published in the Guardian after Belfield was sentenced.

This is a news article published in the Guardian after Belfield was found guilty.


UPDATE REGARDING ‘VINE v BELFIELD’ DEFAMATION CASE


On Thursday 20th July 2023 at a high court in London, convicted Stalker Alex Belfield agreed to pay damages and issued an apology to Jeremy Vine.


Full statement from ‘Vine v Belfield’ before Mrs Justice Steyn, at the Royal Courts of Justice.


Defendant's representative: My Lady, on behalf of Mr Belfield, I wish to associate myself with everything that has been said by Counsel for the Claimant. Mr Belfield never had any basis at all to make the false allegations of dishonesty against the Claimant for which he was responsible, and nor was there any justification for his harassment of the Claimant.

He wishes to apologise unreservedly for the damage and distress caused to the Claimant and his reputation by his publications and express his

profound and unreserved regret for all of the harm for which he is responsible.

The Defendant now accepts that, contrary to the public stance which he has adopted for more than two years, including within these proceedings, the defamatory and seriously harmful allegations of dishonesty which he made against the Claimant are entirely false. He also accepts that the publications for which he was responsible have been found to have amounted to unlawful harassment of the Claimant.


My Lady, the Defendant is here today by his representative to withdraw the allegations of which the Claimant has complained and to apologise publicly to the Claimant for his campaign of defamation and harassment and for the upset and distress which he has caused. He has also agreed to pay the Claimant substantial damages, as well as his legal costs, and to give undertakings subject to a Penal Notice in respect of future publications and conduct concerning the Claimant.


[end of statement]


For all the victims of Alex Belfield including myself and Jeremy Vine and myself, this statement is vindication. Although he was jailed for his crimes, Alex Belfield never showed any remorse or regret.


In a video that he put out on the dat of his sentencing declaring “He’d be back”.


For a long time many people supported and defended Alex Belfield saying that he did nothing wrong, that changes today.

Despite what some people may say about Jeremy Vine, he is an incredibly kind and sensitive man. Who, just like me, only wanted to stand up to a bully, somebody that we saw doing something terribly wrong. And both of us, did it not just for ourselves but for all the other victims and especially for our own families who were affected by Belfield’s behaviour.


Although I’m really happy for Jeremy, to have received this apology, I have yet to receive mine. I instructed the same solicitor as Jeremy Vine, to take out my civil case against Alex Belfield for harassment.


Unlike Jeremy’s case, Alex Belfield is refusing to settle mine.


I don’t have the privilege of a high income like Jeremy Vine, and having already spent £4,000 in legal fees, I’m struggling to continue to fight against Alex Belfield to get what I deserve.


This article was published in the Guardian regarding the ‘Vine v Belfield’ settlement.


This is an interview I did for the Sunday Mirror:

"JeremyVine’s incredible gesture for fellow victims of ex-BBC DJ stalker"


This is an interview I did for the BBC News:

"Alex Belfield case: Stalking victim Philip Dehany to seek damages"


MY STORY

November 2019


I had never heard of Alex Belfield, by this point. I had never met him. Never been in the same room as him. I didn’t know him. I still don’t. But nearly four years later, he is ingrained on my life. Why am I still talking about him? Because I have to.


For me this goes way beyond Alex Belfield, whoever and whatever he is.


This is a warning.


“Twitter is the Wild West of the Internet” Alex Belfield said in one of the many videos he made about me. And that was probably one of the only honest thing he ever did say.


The problem goes beyond the ex BBC radio presenter, trapped in his own warped world. The problem is the platform that enabled his behaviour. YouTube. Twitter. Google. The tools that Alex Belfield used to weaponise the Internet, and if we’re not careful, he might be the first, but he won’t be the last.


Redefining the definition of stalking, Belfield became the first person to be convicted of stalking four people at once. I was one of those four, and this is how it all started.


3rd November 2019




This is the first recorded interaction between Alex Belfield and me. The Tweet still exists and the screen shot of it was submitted as my first piece of evidence in the trial against Alex Belfield accused of stalking eight people.


It is a Tweet I posted in response to @Celebrityradio. The Twitter profile created and operated by Alex Belfield, although his defence Mr Aubrey KC, would go on to ask me during his cross examination, how did I know Alex Belfield was the only person posting from this account. Suggesting the Tweets “might” not have come from him.

For arguments sake, I’m going to continue to suggest that every Tweet posted on @Celebrityradio was by Alex Belfield himself, as there was never any evidence presented to suggest otherwise. In fact Alex Belfield didn’t give any evidence during the five week trial in which he represented himself.


My Tweet was in response to a Tweet that @celebrityradio posted and subsequently deleted. It was one of many Tweets that I can recall being tagged in by Alex Belfield with links to videos on his YouTube channel and his attempts to review theatre shows.

Belfield was beginning to promote himself as “the #1 theatre reviewer” in Las Vegas and the West End, on Google. What he based this claim on, is unclear.


It felt as if Belfield was trying to get himself noticed, by tagging other theatre publications in these tweets in order to share or watch the videos he was posting on YouTube.


Where or how Belfield discovered me, I will never know, as he continues to claim that he “never” contacted me first. This can never be proven now, as the original tweets from @celebrityradio have all been deleted.


Why were these deleted? Is a good question, why did the proprietor of “Free speech” delete his own posts? In order perhaps for Alex Belfield to cover his own tracks, destroying all evidence. Perhaps he knew one day he would get caught.


Fortunately owing to the fact that even after you delete a tweet, any responses to it posted by others will still remain, which is why my Tweet still exists as evidence that @Celebrityradio did post something that they had tagged me in, and then deleted.


In another Tweet, that Alex Belfield would later delete, but that this time I would screenshot and submit as my next piece of evidence. @celebrityradio posts a link to a YouTube video made by Alex Belfield about Ben Hewis. In this Tweet, Belfield invites my response by asking:


“Is this fair?”


Not knowing the specifics or context of this video, other than it was an overt attack on Ben Hewis I felt compelled to respond, and offered my opinion. After all this is what Belfield has asked me for, when he said:


“Is this fair?"


I knew Ben Hewis from his work at Whats On Stage, and subsequently as a videographer in the West End. I considered him a friend, and like any friend under fire, I came to his defence. I still did not know Alex Belfield. I had watched one of his “reviews” about Priscilla Queen of the Desert, in which he unfairly criticised people that I knew in the show in a very derogatory way.


Belfield would “review” shows of his own accord, he was rarely invited by PR’s or producers. He would buy his own tickets, and would watch the shows during their previews. The period of time when a show initially opens but is still being worked on. For any show the previews are the first chance to put the show infant of an audience, where it can be tested. Changes are always made during this time, until the show feels ready enough to present and open officially with what is know as “press nights”. It is commonly accepted not to review shows during previews. Alex Belfield would ignore this courtesy, in an attempt to be the first to “review” a show, he would often go to its first preview and then make his videos about them. Needless to say, his videos were never fair.


I chose to watch some of the video that Belfield had made about Ben Hewis, and that Belfield had asked me to watch and give my opinion:

“Is this fair?”



In the opening minutes of the video Belfield declares “When passive aggressive cunts tells lies…” claiming that Ben “published an email of lies, that email we believe was written by Bernie Keith” he then labels Bernie “a nasty, vile bitter old DJ” while posting photos of Ben’s son, claiming that he will be suing Ben Hewis “in the coming weeks” adding “Good luck to you and your kid and your wife” in a threatening tone.


I was appalled by what Belfield was saying about Ben, and disgusted that he was using the image of his child in this way. I was also frustrated that Alex Belfield was continuing to tag me in his Tweets, even after I had firmly asked him not to.


“Is this fair?”


However I realised I had far more to say about this, that responding with a 280 character tweet would allow.


I therefore drafted my response as an article on my blog. I was a blogger after all.

25th November 2019


ORIGINAL ARTICLE


“Enough is enough...” My response to Alex Belfield’s attack on Ben Hewis.


I have ran That Stagey Blog for almost a year now.

I started it as a labour of love, my love for theatre.


Within this, I have always restrained from “reviewing” shows as such, I don’t award stars, I don’t tear a show to pieces. I do, try to be objective and use my blog to comment on what I have seen that has influenced me.


I run my blog solely with no support or help, and make no money from it, I receive no sponsorship, which allows me full editorial control and objectivity.


Often, I am approached by people to help promote their show, whether by retweeting them, seeing their show or doing an interview with them.


I welcome this, and feel flattered to have been asked to help.


Often, I am tagged by people, who without asking just want and expect me to retweet their posts. I find this rude.


I had never met Alex Belfield. Had never heard of him or Celebrity Radio until he began tagging me in his posts.


Out of sheer curiosity I clicked on the links he was attaching me to, and was immediately and honestly appalled.


His “reviews” of shows were misguided, uniformed, and ridiculous.


As a blogger, I personally battle when it comes to being supportive but objective with any write up I make about a show I see. With Alex Belfield he appeared unnecessarily disparaging, and deliberately aggravated.

I was irritated that Alex, who I had never met had the audacity to expect me to retweet him, I wondered why he had even assumed I had influence, or the inclination to support or endorse his negative and disaggregated option.

I refused to engage with Alex or leverage his platform. He continued to tag me in his posts, hoping that I would support him.


In a tweet that Alex has now removed, where again he was trying to enlist me to support and share, I had enough and responded saying:


“Please stop tagging me in your posts. I have no interest in watching your vlogs or sharing them, your negative tone is always incredibly derogatory and your information is consistently under researched and uninformed.”


Despite this gentle warning, Alex subsequently tagged me in a post in which he openly attacks Ben Hewis.


I have known Ben and shared his passion and support for our industry for many years. Recently, his sole ambition and achievement to raise money to offer free tickets for many people to see ‘Emilia’ in the West End, is one of the single most commendable and admirable movements I have recognised within our community.



Ben inspired and reminded me of the sense of community, that anyone who is lucky enough to go to a drama school and into this industry values. The word defines itself “community’.


Alex Belfield is not part of our community, and is not welcome in it.


He is an opportunist who seeks to align him self with the likes of Jeremy Kyle and Katie Hopkins, who seem to prefer to shock and ignite controversy and conflict.

This is in direct conflict with any prime objectives for a community.


I simply ask Alex this, why do you continue to align yourself with an industry that does not welcome you? Why do you value discrediting people? Attacking people? Fighting people? Conflict? How many more people need to block you before you recognise that your opinion is not valid or welcome? How many more unnecessary attempts to elevate your own profile must you try?


Please. By all means continue your attempt to discredit Ben Hewis, and sue for libel and defamation, but recognise that I stand side by side in support of Ben.


Please. Just stop. Please stop tagging me in your posts. Please stop making your uniformed reviews. Please stop attacking the people who care about the this community when you so clearly don’t.


Sincerely.

Philip Dehany

That Stagey Blog.


END OF ARTICLE


This article remained on my website until 16th June 2021, when I removed it ahead of Alex Belfield’s trial, in the interests of a fair trial.


By that point the article had been read 18,399 times.


There were 2 comments posted after it:


December 2019


It was five weeks until Alex Belfield emailed to ask me to remove this article. In the first of 20 emails that he would send between December 2019 and July 2020.


The judge ruled that: “[Belfield] wrongly believed that [Dehany] had repeated the contents of the Hewis tweet”.


And added “[Belfield] again made false representations as to intended legal action.”


This was first email:


START OF EMAIL


31ST December 2019 [2.37am]

Legal Action - Immediate Attention


Mr. Dehany,

Remove this post and apologise to me personally or you will be sued for defamation alongside your friend Hewis & Keith...

You clearly, like Hewis, do not understand the law. The sheer stupidity to involve yourself in a case (that will run into £100,000's) is breath-taking. This is now on public record. You will now have to face the consequences.

I presume you haven't spoken to Hewis about his legal position. He has zero defence for his moronic tweet...akin to your libelous post.

For total transparency the BBC lawyers are currently handling this legal claim and to date have made no attempt to defend Hewis or Keith. This case will be heard in the High Court and you will be called as a witness. The BBC have 60 lawyers in their office. How many are in yours who signed this off?

This email will be used in court if necessary regarding pre-court protocol regarding costs.

Respond within 24 hours before we begin action. I will not contact you again, if this is not removed immediately I will put £5000 on account to get it removed legally and we will force you to pay all costs and be a witness in this case.

For avoidance of doubt, we have screen grabbed all related social media and this post. Everything needs to be removed.

All mentions must be removed with immediate effect and confirmation, with apology in writing by 5pm 31st December 2019.

Alex Belfield


END OF EMAIL


First of all, the overriding fact in all of this, if we break it down to basics.


I had written an article on my own website, that was my free speech.


Alex Belfield then tried everything he could to get me to take down something that was my free speech.


Throughout this, Alex Belfield would maintain that he was fighting for “free speech”. So, how can the self proclaimed “Voice of Reason” think it was reasonable to ask or even insist that I remove something that was my free speech.


It begins to prove that Alex Belfield is in fact a hypocrite.

The first thing to notice about this email is that it was sent at 2.37am on New Years Eve.

Ok. So. We’ve all been there. You’re up late. You can’t sleep. You’ve maybe been drinking. You’re angry about something, you write that text message or email, but most of us don’t press send. We just let it go.


I have thought about this a lot, and I can only believe that Belfield sent this email on New Years Eve because he wanted to disrupt my time with my family.


I suspect by this point he was watching everything that I was posting on Facebook. Which he was able to, as my settings have always been set to public.


He will have seen that I was spending Christmas and New Year happily with my family in Cumbria. And wanted to ruin it for me. Perhaps, because he wasn’t happy wherever he was.

The next thing I will address is the fact that Alex Belfield lied about taking legal action. As the judge clarified Belfield “made false representations as to intended legal action.”


Although Belfield would later instruct solicitor Henri Brandman, who did write one letter to me, that was never followed up. Belfield has never taken any legal action against me, Bernie Keith or Ben Hewis, because he had no grounds to. I don’t believe Belfield ever intended to sue me.

Belfield’s insistence that I remove the post and apologise to him or be sued, was as the judge would later describe Belfield’s attempt to “sought to in effect blackmail”.

Belfield would later try to suggest that he sent me some “very nice” emails asking me take the article down.

There was nothing nice about the tone of this email, the words “sheer stupidity” “moronic”.


The threatening tone that I will have to “have to face the consequences”.


Belfield makes the false claim statement that “the BBC lawyers are currently handling this legal claim”.


He goes on to make the false accusation that my post was “libelous” which it wasn’t.


Next Belfield states that he will put “£5000 on account to get it removed legally”.

Belfield will later go on the record to say at this point, he was receiving universal credit, and would set up two Go Fund Me accounts begging people to give him money for his legal costs. This would be followed by appeals to send him money directly through Pay Pal.


It is unclear whether Belfield had £5000 at this point to back up this threat.

Belfield’s YouTube channel would eventually grow to nearly 400,000 subscribers that would net him a considerable income, but even at this point he still had 26,000 subscribers and his channel was monetised, meaning that he was earning an income from it. This might have made him ineligible for universal credit if he was not declaring it.


Belfield goes on to say that he will not contact me again. He then sends two more emails later that day. Proving that he is not a man of his word.

Belfield finally gives me a deadline later that day to take action. As I’ve said, this was blackmail, and even after I did not take any action Belfield did not attempt to sue me as he had threatened.


1st January 2020


Despite saying in his first email that he would not contact me again, Belfield sends a follow up email hours later claiming that he had a brief call that morning with his solicitor.



START OF EMAIL


1st January 2020 [10.49am]


Fw: Legal Action - Immediate Attention


Mr. Dehany,

I've had a brief call this morning with my solicitor who is handling the BBC/Hewis court case. Costs are expected to be around £150,000. I hope you have deep pockets.

What you fail to mention in your libellous post is that Hewis, who you vigorously defend, has admitted legal responsibility for his lies and has wholeheartedly apologised. I therefore cannot lose.You choose not to mention this anywhere on your website or posts.

You also fail to mention his tweet was COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED. May I refer you to Hopkins trial who has just lost her house and £300,000 over such libellous posts.

We will begin legal action against you tomorrow unless everything is removed. Initial costs with be £5000-£8000 if you choose this path – again, how could I lose considering the above?

Only a complete moron would defend a person who has committed a crime, which he's admitted to and is being sued for. You've completely missed the point. How would you like it if someone maliciously lied about you – unprovoked? Once again fully exposed yourself as the sanctimonious attention seeker that you are.

It's duly noted that this posted is 10 x more hits than most of your other posts – devastating for any defence you may invent.

Remove and apologise with immediate effect or I'll have no choice but to begin legal action.

I've attached Hewis' unreserved apology that you have malicious chosen not to mention.

Alex



END OF EMAIL


It is questionable whether Belfield had actually appointed a solicitor at this point. It would be another nine months until I actually receive an email from solicitor Henri Brandman, and this was after Belfield had acquired funds from his Go Fund Me and PayPal appeals, to pay for this.


It’s my belief that Belfield had not appointed a solicitor, and even if he had, I doubt that they would be working or taking calls on New Years Eve. He then states that he “will begin legal action against [me]” the next day.


It was again a lie, as he did not do this. It was all part of Belfield’s strategy to intimidate and blackmail me.


Again he falsely calls my article “libellous” and calls me a “complete moron” and a “sanctimonious attention seeker”.

This is also the start of Belfield’s attempts to undermine and belittle my blog by suggesting that the article about him had

“10 x more hits than most of your other posts”.


Next.


At 16:36, less than minutes before the original 5pm deadline that Belfield offered to me to take down my article, Belfield had already emailed “Peter” to proceed with legal action. He forwarded me the email:


START OF EMAIL


1st January 2020 [4.36pm]


Pre-action protocol acknowledgment


Hi Peter,

Philip has now seen this so we can proceed please. He’s legally clueless like Hewis.


With regards to costs, an acknowledgment of receipt of correspondence has been received. He’ll regret liking that. Article is still live 16.23 1/1/2020. No reply received to my emails.


Therefore, I have gone above and beyond to avoid all legal action and avoid costs as is required. We can now proceed to force him to take it down, apologise and compensate if necessary.

We informed Dehany that Hewis has apologised unreservedly and withdrawn all comments with immediate effect. He therefore is defending the actions of a man who admits he has no legal basis to any defence. We can’t lose - again. What a waste of my time.


Please apply for all of your costs to be given to Dehany to force him to remove libellous article and posts. He website is pitiful with only 20-50 hits per article. There’s no point claiming compensation as he’s not a professional with any standing or credibility and therefore won’t have any money when awarded.

Tomorrow I’ll make a video about him, akin to Hewis, to close down his attack. I’ll put it past you first. Up to him if he wants trouble. I’ve given him every chance to avoid these. We can’t lose. Clueless morons the pair of them - totally ignorant of the law. Let’s sort it.

Please go ahead...

Happy New Year.


Alex



END OF EMAIL


It has never been clarified who “Peter” was but the suggestion is that it is Belfield’s legal representative, however this does not correlate to Henri Brandon who later would represent him.


Belfield has already negated his own deal by progressing with his intention to take legal action before allowing the deadline to lapse.


This in itself was dishonourable, even if it was all fabricated.


Further insults can be extracted from this email, including Belfield calling me “legally clueless”,


Belfield also provides evidence that he had also sent messages to me via Facebook and Twitter. This would all later constitute to the stalking charges that he would eventually be found guilty of.


He also acknowledges that I did not reply to his emails. Even though he would accuse me in court, and in videos of “stalking” him.


Belfield again belittles my blog by suggesting my “website is pitiful with only 20-50 hits per article”. This is ludicrous for two reasons. Firstly it deploys the beginning of Belfield’s deliberate attempts to cause me upset, but also it actually undermines his own efforts to claim damages. If my website is so pitiful then how can it possibly “ruin his career” as Belfield will later claim against me.


Belfield then says he will make a video about me the following day.


I continued to feel threatened and intimidated by these emails, but also suspicious. From my basic knowledge of law, it didn’t make sense. If Belfield actually had a solicitor, then why is his solicitor not writing to me himself, or advising Belfield not to. I again chose not to reply or do anything. I also wanted to enjoy the last day of my holiday with my parents.


It continued to play on my mind, however, and I was worried that Belfield would post a video of me the next day. He did not.


2nd January 2020


I began to investigate Belfield’s claims, starting with the BBC. Having never heard of Alex Belfield before he first reached out to me on Twitter, I didn’t know whether to trust him, so though the BBC Website and submitted a complaint:


MY COMPLAINT: Threatening behaviour from a representative of BBC  Hello. I am a blogger and run That Stagey Blog @thatstageyblog (www.thatstageyblog). I have recently received some aggregated and threatening emails from Alex Belfield @celebrityradio Tel: [CENSORED] www.celebrityradio.biz In his emails he informs me that he has instructed BBC lawyers to prepare a legal claim

against me.

Can you please confirm whether the BBC are representing Alex Belfield. Can you confirm whether Alex Belfield is currently or has ever been employed by the BBC. I am fully prepared to share and forward these emails to you, if you require more information. Kind regards Philip Dehany


END OF COMPLAINT


3rd January 2020


I received an email from Paul O’Connell a Senior Legal Counsel and member of the BBC’s Legal Division.


START OF EMAIL


3rd January 2020 [10.49am]


CC Nick Wilcox


BBC Follow-up to your contact with BBC Audience Services


Dear Mr Dehany

By way of introduction, I am a member of the BBC’s Legal Division and I write further to your contact with BBC Audience Services.

I understand from BBC Audience Services that you have been contacted by Alex Belfield and that you have said that Mr Belfield has sent you “aggregated and threatening emails” and “that he has instructed BBC lawyers to prepare a legal claim against [you]”. I also understand that you have asked if the BBC can confirm whether or not it is representing Mr Belfield and whether Mr Belfield is currently or has ever been employed by the BBC. I can confirm that the BBC is not representing Mr Belfield in any way. Mr Belfield does not currently work for the BBC. He did previously work for the BBC, as a presenter with BBC Leeds, but that engagement came to an end many years ago.

You have offered to provide copies of the emails you have received from Mr Belfield and I would be grateful if you would share those with me. If you would like to discuss the issues, please feel free to contact me at the number below. While I am happy for you to inform Mr Belfield that you have contacted the BBC, and that the Litigation Department has confirmed that they are not representing Mr Belfield in any way, I would be grateful if you would refrain from sharing this email with Mr Belfield.

Yours sincerely

Paul

Paul O’Connell

Senior Legal Counsel, BBC Litigation Department

[CENSORED] Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

Tel: [CENSORED] Fax: [CENSORED]


END OF EMAIL


Paul confirmed that Belfield was no longer working at The BBC but that he had, which I already knew. But more importantly he clarified that The BBC was not representing Belfield.


Although this was reassuring and generous of Paul O’Connell to confirm that Belfield was not being represented by the BBC, I was still unsure what to do. O’Connell could not advise me. I felt incredible unsure and still worried. I decided to do nothing. Although I was worried that I might get another email from Belfield, or his solicitor or the police, but nothing happened.


15th February 2020


-TRIGGER WARNNG!


On the day that it was announced that Caroline Flack had died, I was attending my friend Chris’s 40th birthday. Caroline was a friend of mine, and Chris is an employee at ITV, who works on This Morning. His party was attended by some employees of ITV who also knew Caroline. It became a sombre evening, as we reflected on Caroline’s death whilst trying to celebrate Chris’ birthday.


That evening Alex Belfield posted in a Tweet. “Caroline Flack committed suicide my hanging herself.” He then posted a video entitled “Celebrity Suicide Obsession Being Famous Vlog - Caroline Flack Hanged / Dead 40”.



I was repelled by this. Caroline’s death was incredibly upsetting for me, and I did not want to read about about the method she used to kill herself through a Tweet by Belfield.


I responded to Belfield’s tweet by saying “Please show some decorum and respect for the people who knew her that might not have wanted to know the details of how she tragically died.”



I felt that I was within my rights to call Belfield out on this matter, as he had posted the comments publicly on Twitter and YouTube. Belfield’s Tweet was immediately removed.


20th February 2020

Belfield (@Celebrityradio) tagged both @philipdehany and @thatstageyblog in a Tweet saying that Nottingham Police are investigating, and that if I did not remove my post within 24 hours, I would be sued for damages. He then called me a #bully and #troll.


At this point, or rather, at no point had I ever bullied or trolled Alex Belfied.




21st February 2020


I received the forth email from Belfield, that contained a screen shot of the previous day’s tweet. And seemed to imply that he was waning me of "criminal investigation". Knowing that i had no committed a crime, I did not reply.


START OF EMAIL


21st February 2020 [17.06pm]


Legal Record


Article still live. Warned of criminal investigation 24 hours ago:


Alex Belfield

Tel: (Censored)


END OF EMAIL


It was incredibly distressing to have Belfield threatening me again. I felt as though I had kicked the hornets nest by reacting to Belfield’s tweet about Caroline Flack. But I was upset. Belfield must have agreed that it was inappropriate otherwise he would not have deleted it. By sending him one tweet, certainly did not constitute to bullying or trolling, and he had no right to call me either of those, or to go on to threaten me with a criminal investigation.


He also sent a copy of this message to my personal Facebook profile. Making sure that even if I hadn’t have read it on either of my Twitter feeds, or in the email, that I would see it in my Facebook messages. I felt corned by Belfield.

At this point, friends and family were advising me to simply, block and just ignore Belfield. However this made me realise that even if I did block him on Twitter, and if I did block his emails, he would just find other ways to target me. This was when it began to feel like harassment, and was begin to scare me, and upset me.


26th February 2020


Belfield sent me a fifth email, where he states that he has contacted me on three social media platforms (two personal and website) to informing me of criminal investigation.

START OF EMAIL


26th February 2020 [11.56am]


Nottingham Police Libel Case


Posted by Philip Dehany 26/11/2019


3 requests over 3 social media platforms (x2 personal and website) to remove informing him of criminal investigation. Still live 26/2/2020


Alex Belfield

Tel: (Censored)


END OF EMAIL


He also attached screenshots of my entire blog as published on www.thatstageyblog.com


I did not understand at this point, why Belfield was pursuing this. If he genuinely was planning to challenge my article and take legal action, then why was he not proceeding. It began to feel clear that he was making empty threats. Despite this it still made uncomfortable, and made me question what I should do. I continued to follow the suggestions from friends to continue to ignore him, and remained quiet.


Again nothing more came of this. I did not hear from a solicitor representing Belfield or from Nottingham police, who Belfield had told me had begun a criminal enquiry.


10th April 2020 (Good Friday)


It was less than three weeks in to the first UK lockdown. An incredibly difficult and distressing time for everyone.


Like everybody around the world, we had no idea what was going on, and we were scared. For me, with the closures of theatres on 16th March, it felt as if my whole world had been taken away.


As a theatre blogger, I went from watching seven or eight shows a week, meeting up with friends, producing content for my YouTube channel to suddenly nothing. The theatre’s had closed, and my entire industry and ground to a holt.


Worse still, I have made the decision to cancel my own theatre show that had been scheduled for 16th March. It was set to be the first in a series called ‘That Stagey Blog: Live’. A mix of live music and chat, hosted by myself with special guests from the Westend. I had planned and paid for it, booked the theatre, booked a band, the guests, and invited an audience.



As information about COVID-19 began to trickle in, we were all unprepared and frightened. Reports were coming in that people living with HIV might be more at risk, and where possible we should shield.


I didn’t take any chances, and so I left London, and went to stay with my parents at their home in Cumbria.

Like many, I expected the lockdown to only last a few weeks.


The first three weeks of lockdown had included my 38th Birthday, spent alone with my parents in isolation. I spent most of my birthday chatting to friends on zoom, and trying to take my mind off the fact that I had no prospect of work or income from theatre or television, and that as a 38 year old man, I was having to adjust to living at home with my parents again.


As a family, our Easter plans that would normally involve my nieces visiting had to be cancelled, and I was feeling very lonely and isolated and upset.


It was on Good Friday, when I received a distressing phone call from a friend and fellow blogger Joe Flaherty who manages the website Stage Door Joe.



Joe had received a threatening email from Alex Belfield, following a series of tweets that they had exchanged. It began to resemble the same pattern of events that I had endured.


I did not follow Alex Belfield @celebrityradio on Twitter and had not seen any of his Tweets. But I then looked and saw a Tweet in which Belfield wrote:


“I Call Out ALL Bullies, Liars, Trolls & Frauds today.

None of the viles trolls called in - Aaron Sidwell, Ben Hewis, Greg Scott, Anne Vosser, Stage Door Joe Flaherty, Damien Tracy BKL, Adam Scott Pringle, Matthew Shaw - all unprovoked attacks!”.


This really upset me, as these were all people that I know, and I began to worry that they would be subjected to the same threats, intimidation and harassment from Belfield that I had been experiencing.


Joe was physically upset and crying as we spoke, which made me feel upset and angry at myself for not protecting him. I felt bad because I had simply ignored Belfield’s behaviour, and that it had enabled Belfield to move on to his next victim. I felt complicate by my silence, and regretted not speaking out.


I reached out to each of my friends that Belfield had called out, to ensure them that they were not alone and to check that they were OK.


I am fairly resilient and I had been able to shoulder the bullying and intimidation from Belfield up until this point. However some of my friends were incredibly upset and scared and felt unable to speak out. I wanted people to know that Belfield had threatened me several times and nothing had happened, and that I contacted the BBC who denied representing him.


I posted across all my social media, this message:



“In all seriousness. If anyone else has received threatening, intimidating, and malicious personal messages from Alex Belfield at @celebrity radio. You are not alone. Please do not worry. Authorities are looking into and closely monitoring his actions. If you feel you need to speak to someone, please contact me and I will refer you to a member of BBC’s legal division who have been able to help and support me.”


I was also shocked that Belfield was once again ruining a bank holiday in the same way that he had on New Years Day.


11th April 2020

I still felt guilty that I hadn’t spoken out sooner, and decided to write a second article about Alex Belfield on my blog, www.thatstageyblog.

In it, I published all the emails that I had received from Belfield up until that point.



This is what was written in the original article, a lot of this now repeats what I have already written in this new article, but for total transparency I will post it again so that you can see exactly what I originally wrote, as Alex Belfield will later accuse me of libel, and as you will see there is no evidence of that.


I have however removed the screenshots rather than repeat these, and replaced these with a description of each one.


I hope that it is all clear.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE


STOP! Alex Belfield -UPDATED


On 25th November 2019. I posted this.


(Link to original article)


*Please read this article first, for full context of this situation

.

It was written in response to a YouTube video that Alex Belfield posted on 24th November. In it, he posts a photo of Ben Hewis’ young son, who he openly threats. With this, I think Alex went too far.


That video has since been removed.


On December 31st 2019, at 02.37, whilst I was at home with my parents enjoying my New Year. Alex Belfield sent me this email to my public business address stagey@thatstageyblog.com


<Screenshot of email- Legal Action - Immediate Attention 31/12/2019>


The email was clearly designed by Alex to intimidate me, and was incredibly threatening.


At the time, I had only been running my blog for one year, and I was naturally very protective of it. Although I did not feel that I had written anything liable in my original post for Alex to be able to put together a defamation case against me. It did make me question whether I should remove it.


I had worked so hard to build my blog, that I did not want anything to damage it, and I didn’t want to get myself in to any trouble.


I considered removing the post, but then thought about my original intentions behind writing it. I wrote it out of solidarity and support for Ben Hewis and having read it again, I stood by everything that I said in it and decided not to remove it.


I then chose not to aggravate the situation and did not reply or respond to Alex’s email.


On January 1st 2020, at 10.49, Alex Belfield then sent me this email.

<Screenshot of email AB Email- Fw: Legal Action - Immediate Attention 01/01/2020>


I did not respond.

He then continued to goad me, by sending me this tweet.


<Screenshot of Tweet- 10:51 01/01/2020>


@celebrityradio-

[@philipdehany @thatstageyblog Check your emails immediately. Legal action required.]


This was then followed up by another email at 16:36 on January 1st 2020.


<Screenshot of email AB Email- Pre-action protocol acknowledgement 01/01/2020>


I then re read this and the original email that Alex Belfield had sent me. In it he says that “the BBC lawyers are currently handing this legal claim”.

Having worked at the BBC myself, and understanding that it is a publicly funded corperation, I believed it was unlikely that they would be supporting Alex Belfield in any claim, and that by suggesting they were Alex was actually making a fraudulent statement.


On 2nd January 2020, I contacted the BBC to ask them if they could confirm whether the BBC are representing Alex Belfield and whether Alex Belfield is currently or has ever been employed by the BBC.


The next day, I received an email from a member of BBC’s Legal Division.


For confidentiality reasons, I cannot not post this email, but in it the representative for the BBC confirmed that the BBC is not representing Mr Belfield in any way. Mr Belfield does not currently work for the BBC. He did previously work for the BBC, as a presenter with BBC Leeds, but that engagement came to an end many years ago.


The representative at the BBC was incredibly kind, supportive, and comforting and offered me their phone number, if I needed to speak to them directly. Although they were clear that they could not advise what to do, they did help to assure me that I was not alone.

I was incredible grateful. I continued to email them to ask whether they felt I had a case against Alex Belfield for harassment.


Having read over all the emails again that I received from Alex Belfield, I was alarmed by the sections where he calls me a "complete moron" "sanctimonious attention seeker" and uses the words "stupidity" and suggests my post is "libellous" and calls my website “pitiful” and says that I am in his opinion “not a professional with any standing or credibility” and then calls Ben Hewis and I “Clueless morons” again.


He also states “Tomorrow I’ll make a video about him”.

I had never met Alex Belfield, and I had never followed him, liked any of his posts or even watched any of his videos, before he began tagging me in his posts. Then even after I asked him via a tweet to stop tagging me, he continued to, and now has resorted to sending me persistent emails, tagging me in further tweets and is now threatening to make about me.


I did not know the law, and had never found myself in a situation like this before, I had only been running my blog for one year, and so I am fairly new to all this.


I asked whether this constituted to harassment. Was there anything I can do? Should I seek advice?


I had already reported the video to YouTube in which he features photos of Ben’s son and threatens his family. I asked should I contact YouTube legal department about this?


The Senior Legal Counsel from the BBC Litigation Department then phoned me back personally. They were incredible sincere, and helpful, and assured me that I was safe.


Alex Belfield did not make a video about me the next day.


Alex Belfield did not contact me again.


Alex Belfield did not pursue any court action against me.


On 15th February 2020, the day that it was reported that Caroline Flack had died. Alex Belfield posted a tweet in which he specified how Caroline had died.

I personally felt that the tweet was incredible inappropriate, insensitive and reprehensible.


I tweeted in response to Alex’s original tweet, that he later then removed.

<Screenshot of Tweet- 21:39 15/02/2020>

@philipdehany-

Replying to @celebrityradio

[Please show some decorum and respect for the people who knew her that might not have wanted to know the details of how she tragically died.]


He then produced a You Tube video discussing Caroline’s death.

Alex Belfield then targeting Ben Hewis again.

I contacted the BBC again to acknowledge that I had tweeted Alex Belfield, and to alert them to the original tweet that Alex had posted and removed.


On 21st February 2020, I then received a tweet and an email from Alex Belfield.

<Screenshot of email- Legal Record 21/02/2020>


He then also sent me a direct message to my personal Facebook profile.

<Screenshot of Facebook message>

I did not respond.

On 26th February 2020, Alex Belfield emailed me again.


<Screenshot of Email- Nottingham Police Libel Case 26/02/2020>


I did not respond.


Alex Belfield has now blocked me on social media, although I do not follow Alex Belfield, and I never have done.


Until now I have maintained a dignified silence about my experience and encounters with Alex Belfield.


On 10th April 2020, Alex Belfield posted this.

<Screenshot of Tweet>

Some of these people are friends of mine. I reached out to them to assure them that they are not alone, and that I had experienced similar abuse from Alex Belfield.

I wanted to check that they were ok.


I was troubled when one of my friends admitted that they had been brought to tears by Alex Belfield’s targeted abuse, and that it had heightened their anxiety.


This is not acceptable. I have to speak up. Nobody should be suffering or enduring this form of bullying from Alex Belfield.


I am fairly resilient, and I was able to discount Alex Belfield’s attempts to intimidate and threaten me. But realising that his words, his actions, his conduct are impacting and hurting people. He has to stop. I had to speak out.


I posted this across all my social media, and was encouraged when people reached out to me who I was able to support and assist.


<Screenshot of my post>


This is an incredibly difficult time for everybody, and now more than ever, I want to look out for anyone who has been a target of abuse from Alex Belfield.


I worry that by remaining silent about my experience of Alex Belfield since January that I have enabled and allowed him to continue to victimise and assault other people. I hope that by coming forward with all this, that if there is anyone who has had similar experiences and have been worried or dealing with it alone, that they now know you are not alone.

Together we are stronger.

If anyone would like to contact me for help and support, please do.


My email is stagey@thatstageyblog.com and I will listen.


END OF ARTICLE



TO BE CONTINUED...

6,251 views1 comment

1 Comment


petertrumble
Jul 19, 2023

Great post, but you have posted a letter from the BBC you were asked not to share.... Also, do you think Alex will have any money to pay you after five years inside? I hope so, but dount it very much.

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