News, Culture & Society

Trial over Grenfell effigy burning could collapse after second video emerged

Trial of property tycoon accused of sharing footage of his friends burning a Grenfell Tower effigy could COLLAPSE after it emerged another video was made of the incident

  • Paul Bussetti is trial for sharing a video of the burning of a Grenfell effigy
  • But at the close of the case today, it emerged a second video was made
  • Defence team say the presence of the second video undermines the case
  • Chief magistrate adjourns case ahead of possibly ending the case tomorrow 

Paul Bussetti was arrested and charged after a video emerged of the burning of an effigy of Grenfell Tower. But the case against him could now been thrown out of court

The case against a man who filmed an effigy of Grenfell Tower being burned is on the verge of collapse this evening after it emerged two videos has been made.

Paul Bussetti, 46, was among a group who laughed and jeered as the cardboard model went up in flames at a party in South Norwood, south-east London.

The footage sparked a massive public outcry after Mr Bussetti allegedly captured it on his phone and sent it to two WhatsApp groups.

Amid the anger, 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 sent on YouTube.

Busetti, 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.

But the case was hanging by a thread tonight after it emerged another video of the incident posted by someone other than the accused, Paul Bussetti, might have been the one seen online.

It emerged that in police interviews another man, Paul Hancock had told officers that he posted his video to a darts group but this was not passed on to the defence until today.

The footage (pictured) sparked a national outcry after Bussetti allegedly captured it on his phone

The effigy filmed going up in flames

The footage (pictured) sparked a national outcry after Bussetti allegedly captured it on his phone

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.’

He said he had just been shown police interview transcripts of the creator of the effigy, Steve Bull, and another friend of Bussetti, Paul Hancock, who supported his account.

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.

‘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.

Bussetti, pictured with his wife Gemma

Bussetti, pictured on holiday in Dubai

Bussetti, pictured with his wife Gemma (left), has claimed the cut-outs were caricatures of his friends who were at the party

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.’

The case has now been adjourned for the prosecution and defence to create an agreed statement covering the revelation.

The effigy is believed to have been burned at a party behind this home in South Norwood

The effigy is believed to have been burned at a party behind this home in South Norwood