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Tommy Robinson sent back to jail for contempt of court

11 July 2019

The case against Robinson came after he filmed a group of men from a Huddersfield grooming gang who were accused of sex offences against young girls in May 2018.

Police in riot gear watch Tommy Robinson supporters outside the Old Bailey courthouse in London, Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by the name of Tommy Robinson, has been jailed for 9 months for contempt of court.

The crowd marched towards the Old Bailey chanting "we want Tommy out" before some began pelting police with bottles and cans.

Judge Victoria Sharp reportedly told Robinson on Thursday that previous time he has spent in prison would be taken into account for his new sentence - cutting it down to 19 weeks.

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Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby concluded he committed contempt by breaching the reporting restriction imposed on the trial, by live-streaming the video from outside the public entrance to the court and by "aggressively confronting and filming" some of the defendants.

The activist has said the sentence following his previous, overturned convcition saw him "imprisoned for over 2.5 months in solitary confinement, held against my categorisation, moved to the highest Muslim population Category C prison, subjected to mental torture and constant threats and abuse and had all of my rights removed in the interest of prison safety", and he believes his treatment by the courts and the state more generally is "political persecution".

And then seemed to contradict the plea, with another plea for cash donations from his supporters, in a video filmed ahead of his sentencing on Thursday.

The judges also rejected claims by Yaxley-Lennon that he had made checks in the court about reporting restrictions.

A number of Robinson's supporters who gathered outside the court on Thursday and Friday reacted angrily after the verdict was announced.

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Reporting restrictions postponed the publication of any details until the end of all the cases, in a bid to ensure all defendants received a fair trial.

Robinson was originally jailed for 13 months on the day of the Facebook broadcast, but was released two months into his sentence after winning an appeal.

Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Mr Justice Warby, said the contempt committed by Robinson was not "deliberate defiance" and he had not meant to "interfere with the administration of justice". Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, was arrested and jailed past year for potentially prejudicing a trial after the Facebook broadcast outside a trial of men accused of sexually abusing teenage girls.

A retrial was ordered after Robinson appealed the sentence with the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, saying the ruling was "flawed".

The former EDL member wore jeans and a black T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan "convicted for journalism" and "Britain = North Korea" on the back.

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Tommy Robinson sent back to jail for contempt of court