Millionaire who filmed ‘grossly offensive’ footage of Grenfell Tower effigy being burned is CLEARED of sharing it online after ‘appalling’ CPS failed to mention there was a SECOND video taken on the same night
- Paul Bussetti, from South Norwood, south-east London, has been cleared today
- It emerged that there had been a second recording of the effigy being burned
- Magistrate said that it was possible Mr Bussetti’s recording wasn’t the one online
Paul Bussetti was arrested and charged after a video emerged of the burning of an effigy of Grenfell Tower
A property tycoon accused of sharing footage of his friends burning a cardboard effigy of Grenfell Tower has been found not guilty by a judge who said that the handling of evidence in the case was ‘appalling’.
Married father-of-two Paul Bussetti, 47, from South Norwood, south-east London, was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today of sending the ‘grossly offensive’ video on WhatsApp.
The footage sparked a massive public outcry after Mr Bussetti allegedly captured it on his phone and sent it to two groups of friends.
Amid the anger, Mr Bussetti was arrested and later charged with one count of sending the video on a WhatsApp group and a second of ‘causing’ the footage to be posted on YouTube.
Mr Bussetti, who reportedly owns an £8million block of flats in Clapham, south London, denied the charge and his stop-start trial has been ongoing since May.
Today, it was revealed that another video of the incident posted by someone other than Mr Bussetti might have been the one seen online.
Another man, Paul Hancock, had told officers that he posted his video to a darts group but this information was not passed on to the defence until today.
After the revelation, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: ‘I’m just appalled at the disclosure in this case.
‘I’m going to want to know more about how on earth disclosure has got to this stage. It’s highly unsatisfactory and appalling.’
Mark Summers QC, defending, said: ‘If I seem angry that’s because I am.’
Mr Summers said: ‘Firstly somebody called Peter Hancock… said in interview that he had videoed the bonfire and he had posted it to the Darts group.
The footage (pictured) sparked a national outcry after Bussetti allegedly captured it on his phone
‘It’s now not even clear to us that the video that found its way on to YouTube and national media is Mr Bussetti’s video and with respect we don’t see how we can even be sure about that.
Mr Bussetti’s lawyer added: ‘He put a video of the bonfire to the group but it now seems somebody else did.
‘Mr Hancock also told police that the figures in the windows were his friends.
‘We have very very serious doubts about the integrity of this prosecution.
‘I’m genuinely concerned that Peter Hancock is somebody I might well want to have brought here to give evidence.
‘All six of them went to the police station to clear this up voluntarily without solicitors.’
Bussetti, pictured with his wife Gemma (left), has claimed the cut-outs were caricatures of his friends who were at the party
The effigy is believed to have been burned at a party behind this home in South Norwood
Mr Bussetti was part of a group of revellers at a bonfire party who sparked outrage after a film of them laughing as the effigy went up in flames was shared and went viral on social media last November.
He claimed the figures in the effigy were caricatures of revellers at the party.
He told his trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court he used racist slurs as a ‘bit of banter’ and denied he deleted a ‘great deal of very racist material’ on his phone before handing it into police.
The revelation that it might not have been his video came as Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot she was about to give her verdict following the end of closing submissions of his trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.