Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2019

Tommy Robinson jailed for nine months after EDL founder guilty of contempt of court | UK | News

The English Defence League (EDL) founder, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was handed a nine-month sentence at the Old Bailey on Thursday as he was branded a “liar” by the judge. Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson that the time he previously spent behind bars for the contempt will be taken into account, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks – of which he will serve half before being released. 

Robinson, 36, of Luton, Bedfordshire, was found to have committed contempt of court on Friday, following a two-day High Court hearing held at the Old Bailey.

Passing sentence, Dame Victoria Sharp said: “We are in no doubt that the custody threshold is crossed in this case, in particular having regard to the common law contempt that the respondent committed. “Nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified.”

She said that the purpose of sentencing for contempt was “punishment and deterrence of the contemnor”, adding: “The court is also concerned to demonstrate its determination to uphold the rule of law.”

Angry supporters of Robinson booed as news of his sentencing came in, with crowds chanting “we want Tommy out”. 

Following the sentencing, his Telegram account said: “Sentenced to prison for journalism. Time for protests to start, this is an absolute joke!

“Protest outside whatever prison I’m in on Saturday please.”

Dame Victoria added: “Robinson cannot be given credit for pleading guilty. He has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression.

“This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt.” 

This morning Robinson, 36, from Luton in Bedfordshire arrived at the Old Bailey with Katie Hopkins amid chaotic scenes as smoke bombs went off in the crowds. 

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. 

High Court judges found the English Defence League founder committed contempt of court following a two-day hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday.

Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby found Robinson was in contempt in three respects when he filmed men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls and live-streamed the footage on Facebook, in breach of a reporting ban, outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

Giving reasons for the decision, Dame Victoria said Robinson encouraged “vigilante action” in the video, which lasted an hour-and-a-half and was viewed online 250,000 times on the morning of the broadcast.

Outside court, his supporters gathered at a double-decker bus blocking the street at the the Ludgate Hill end.

A stage was also erected where speakers have been addressing the crowds.

Scores of supporters blocked nearby roads as they went to greet him and he was mobbed by fans as he made his way towards the court building.

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