Man appears in court for filming model Grenfell Tower on bonfire

Bussetti said he had "no idea" why he took the video

Monday, July 29, 2019

A man who filmed a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower burning on a bonfire and shared it in a WhatsApp group has told a court it was a "stupid moment."

Paul Bussetti, 46, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of sending the “grossly offensive” video in which laughter could be heard as the model was placed on the flames.

Prosecutor Philip Stott told the court Mr Bussetti had been attending a friend’s bonfire on 3 November 2018.

He said one of the other 30 or so guests had brought the model labelled Grenfell Tower which had characters on it, "some inside, some hanging off it as though they were falling".

He added: "Some of these appeared to be black or brown."

In his interviews, Bussetti told police: “It was just sick. There was no purpose. It was just a horrible video."

The blaze at the Grenfell block of flats killed 72 people in June 2017.

Sandra Ruiz, who lost her neice 12-year-old Jessica Urbano Ramirez in the tragedy, branded the video “revolting.”

In a statement read to the court, she said: "The video made a mockery of her death. To see people making a mockery of that is vile."

After it was sent on WhatsApp, the footage was uploaded to YouTube.

The defendant accepts that he filmed and shared the footage but denies the second charge of causing video “of menacing character” to be uploaded to YouTube.

His lawyer, Mark Summers QC, argued that the video was uploaded to the site by someone else and his client did not intend it to go viral.

His legal team are also disputing that is was “grossly offensive” to send the footage to a private group.

The trial continues.

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