Death threat for ra­dio pre­sen­ter

Walton: Sur­rey ra­dio pre­sen­ter re­ceived death threat text after ac­cus­ing man of theft for Chan­nel 5 TV show

Surrey Herald/News - - FRONT PAGE - By Char­lotte Tal­bot

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.