Death threat for radio presenter
Walton: Surrey radio presenter received death threat text after accusing man of theft for Channel 5 TV show
Criminals A MAN who threatened to kill BBC Surrey radio presenter Nick Wallis by putting a ‘bullet in his head’ has been jailed. The presenter was sent a text message claiming a ‘hit man’ was on his way to him on October 3 last year. Mr Wallis had been filming for Channel 5’s Criminals Caught on Camera and had met defendant Hashem Mustafa, who was thought to have stolen a laptop. It was after the meeting in a cafe in Hammersmith that Mustafa sent the text message. Mustafa appeared before South West Surrey magistrates in Guildford last Friday, accused of threatening to kill Mr Wallis in Walton. Despite pleading not guilty at previous court appearances, Mustafa this time admitted the offence. Paul Lund, prosecuting, told the court the Channel 5 programme involved gathering material on people and covert filming. “Someone who had their laptop stolen in 2011 had spyware on it and was able to track Mr Mustafa to an email account and an eBay account,” he said. This was then referred to the programme researchers, and a meeting was set up in a cafe between Mr Wallis, masquerading as an eBay buyer, and Mustafa, which was filmed. Mr Lund said: “As part of the drama of the pro- gramme the presenter then says ‘you’re a thief, aren’t you?’ This was done without huge consequence at the time. Mustafa made his excuses and left.” But later that day Mr Wallis received a text message from Mustafa’s number, saying: “I GOT UR ADDRESS ND I NO ALL UR MOOVZ SO I GOT U HIT MAN ON HIZ WAY2U BELIVE ME 1 BULLET IN DE HEAD.” He added: “This actually affected Mr Wallis more than one might think. “He lives with his wife and children and he has expressed concerns about his and their safety. “Mr Wallis remains disturbed about what’s happened.” Haseeb Yousef, defending, said his client, who was studying IT at university, had committed the offence ‘in the heat of the moment’.
“It was a one-off,” he said. “He didn’t intend to carry out the threat. He sent it after Nick Wallis accused him of being a thief. “He didn’t like that. No one likes being called a thief. As a result of anger and being upset, he sent the text.” Mr Yousef said the text could not have had ‘more than a fleeting impact on the victim’ due to his job and the fact he would have been ‘exposed to danger in the past’. But magistrates did not agree, stating it was not sent in the heat of the moment, but later on, after the meeting. Mustafa, who is currently in custody, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison. A restraining order was also granted for two years, with conditions not to contact Mr Wallis or his family directly and indirectly, not to approach them or go to any address where they could be living or working.
BBC Surrey presenter Nick Wallis in
for Channel 5.