Man in court over Grenfell effigy video says it was joke about friends

Paul Bussetti, 47, says burning of cardboard tower was not meant to be about victims

The burning of a model of Grenfell Tower on a bonfire was a joke about a group of friends, not about the 72 people who lost their lives in the blaze, according to the man who filmed the footage.

Speaking at Westminster magistrates court, Paul Bussetti claimed the video – shot at an annual party held by a friend – was considered “funny” by those involved. He said it was not intended to be about the victims of the 2017 fire.

Bussetti, 47, is on trial accused of sending a “grossly offensive” video on WhatsApp and causing footage of a “menacing character” to be uploaded on YouTube.

On Thursday, while giving evidence, the married father of two told the court it was “certainly not the case” that the figures in the cardboard model, which had “Grenfell Tower” written on it, were meant to be those who died in the fire.

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