Tommy Robinson jailed for contempt of court

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2019

The co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) is due to serve at least 10 weeks of the sentence.

Judge Victoria Sharp said in the Old Bailey courthouse that the prison term was necessary to "properly reflect the gravity of the conduct".

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has been sentenced to 9 months in jail over contempt of court charges. Some pelted police with bottles and cans and officers donned their helmets.

His online publication of details about the criminal case involved a breach of a reporting restriction order imposed under s4 (2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

In May 2018, Yaxley-Lennon live-streamed a video outside Leeds Crown Court that contained information in breach of reporting restrictions.

Upon his arrival at the court alongside right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins, Robinson told Sky News he was "being sent to jail for doing what you do" and that his impending sentence was "illegal".

The judge said the words he used in the video would have been understood by viewers as "an incitement" to harass the defendants and "gave rise to a real risk the course of justice would be seriously impeded".

Robinson was jailed for 13 months a year ago and was released from prison upon appeal and resentenced today for nine months.

The case was then referred back to the Attorney General, who announced in March that it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against Robinson.

The activist, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found guilty at London's Old Bailey court last week after he filmed defendants during a trial past year and posted the footage on social media, breaching reporting restrictions on the case.

Anyone found in contempt of court can be jailed for up to two years, receive an unlimited fine, or both.

The Court of Appeal, however, ordered a rehearing and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's chief legal adviser, made a decision to start contempt proceedings against him.

Robinson denied any wrongdoing throughout the trial, seemingly unaware of the meaning of contempt of court, which is created to ensure fair criminal trials.

Contempt of court laws exist to ensure people get fair trials.

If someone interferes with a trial, the defendants can walk free and a new trial may have to be held. He was committed to prison for a further 3 months for a previous contempt. Proceedings become "active" when a suspect is arrested.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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