Robinson jailed for contempt of court

Tommy Robinson arriving at court

The court ruled that his actions could have jeopardised the trial of a gang of alleged sex offenders who were accused of abusing young girls.

The former leader of the English Defence League was found guilty last week of breaching a reporting ban by live-streaming footage of defendants arriving at Leeds Crown Court.

Supporters of Robinson gathered outside the court as the sentence was handed down.

Robinson had instructed his lawyer "to read out a series of past Contempt of Court findings against newspapers which (in summary) had not led to jail terms for editors or reporters accused of disrupting trials", according to BBC reporter Dominic Casciani, but to no avail, with judges imposing a custodial term only one month shorter than his previous sentence, declaring that "the main objective of the penalty is punishment and deterrence".

Police were then pelted with cans and plastic bottles as the group began chanting "we want Tommy out".

The video lasted an hour-and-a-half and was viewed online 250,000 times, after being live-streamed on Facebook.

Dame Victoria Sharp said Robinson's previous time in jail had been taken into consideration, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks - of which he will serve half before being released.

"I would urge everyone to think carefully about whether their social media posts could amount to contempt of court".

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Robinson told InfoWars on Monday that he had sought political asylum in the United States, claiming that he feared for his life as "dark forces are at work" in his home country.

Dozens of angry supporters of British far-right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon scuffled with police and marched on parliament after he was jailed on Thursday for contempt of court.

He had argued in his defence that he did not believe he was breaching restrictions and that any information he gave was already public. Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, was arrested and jailed previous year for potentially prejudicing a trial after the Facebook broadcast outside a trial of men accused of sexually abusing teenage girls.

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.

He was originally jailed for the offence on May 25 and released on August 1 following his appeal - serving a total of 69 days in custody, having received a 13-month sentence.

"By aggressively confronting and filming some of the defendants in that case as they arrived at court, he interfered with the course of justice", the British Attorney General's Office said a statement announcing the 9-month sentence Thursday.

The nine month jail sentence served on Thursday includes six months for the Leeds Crown Court offence a year ago and another three months for contempt of court, following a suspended sentence given at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.

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

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