A millionaire accused of filming a Grenfell Tower effigy being burned claimed a baby apparently being thrown from the cardboard model was actually a floating ghost, a court heard today.
Paul Bussetti, 47, 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.
The devastating blaze in Kensington, west London, killed 72 people in June 2017 and Bussetti, of South Norwood, denies two charges of sending an offensive communication after sharing the video to two WhatsApp chat groups containing 20 people.
His trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court has heard the effigy included cardboard cut-out figures including one wearing a hijab and revellers could be heard shouting: “Help me help me”, with others saying: “Jump out of the window.”
Today Mr Bussetti claimed the cut-outs were caricatures of his friends who were at the party.
On the ‘baby’ being thrown from a window, he said: “That’s a picture of Cliff as a ghost.”
And on a figure dressed all in black referred to as a “little ninja”, he said: “That’s Bobbi Connell. He’s Clifford’s son. Now he’s 21 or 22. When he was younger he used to do martial artists and called himself ninja. He was about 12.”
He said he posted it on the WhatsApp chat groups and added: “Because the majority of the people in that group was at the party, they all found it funny, we all found it funny because it was pictures of us in the box, just the people in that group.
“I posted it on to my football group because we spoke about it before.”
The court heard revellers also said in the video: “This is what happens when you don’t pay rent, stay in your flat.”
Bussetti admitted he found the comments funny, saying: “At the time yes”
The trial continues.