Man spared jail for posting 'grossly offensive' burning Grenfell effigy video

20 April 2022, 10:27 | Updated: 20 April 2022, 11:15

Paul Busetti admitted sending the ‘grossly offensive’ viral video
Paul Busetti admitted sending the ‘grossly offensive’ viral video. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

A man has been sentenced after admitting sending a "grossly offensive" viral video of a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

Paul Bussetti, 49, has been jailed for 10 weeks - suspended for two years - at Westminster Magistrates' Court for sending a "grossly offensive" video of a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

He pleaded guilty to one count when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Bussetti was previously found not guilty after a two-day trial but the acquittal was quashed by the High Court.

Bussetti filmed the footage, which was taken at an annual bonfire party hosted by a friend in November 2018, and was shared in WhatsApp groups.

It prompted outrage when it was shared widely online and made the national news, and was criticised as "vile" by a relative of one of the 72 victims of the 2017 disaster in West London.

The court heard there were direct and indirect references to the residents of Grenfell Tower in the footage.

They included comments of: "Who's jumping?"; "Don't worry, stay in your flats"; and "Jump out of the window".

The court heard Bussetti said: "That's what happens when you don't pay the rent."

The defendant also uttered siren noises.

Another person - not Bussetti - made a racist comment, while people present could be heard laughing.

The court heard he handed himself in to police when the footage went viral.

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