Far-right activist and EDL founder Tommy Robinson jailed for nine months

Saul Bowman
July 12, 2019

The maximum sentence is two years' imprisonment. Batten was greeted by chants of "Bulldog" and "Gerard".

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

Some pelted police with bottles and cans and officers donned their helmets.

The ex-English Defence League leader was found guilty last week of interfering with the trial of a sexual grooming gang at Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

The court found Robinson's hour-and-a-half long video encouraged "vigilante action" and attracted 250,000 views the morning it was broadcast.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Cox said: "Today's sentencing of Yaxley-Lennon serves to illustrate how seriously the courts will take matters of contempt".

"Posting material online that breaches reporting restrictions or risks prejudicing legal proceedings has consequences, and I would urge everyone to think carefully about whether their social media posts could amount to contempt of court", he said.

The full judgement can be found here.

The far-right figure has railed against asylum-seekers, but that did not stop this week from appealing to US President Donald Trump to grant him asylum in the United States.

The sentencing hearing on Thursday was briefly delayed after Robinson, who arrived outside court accompanied by far-right commentator Katie Hopkins, was mobbed by supporters.

He claimed Britain's jails were filled with "jihad gangs".

Robinson said he did not believe he was breaching the reporting restrictions and denied wrongdoing.

Robinson filmed men accused of sexually exploiting young girls, breaching a reporting ban on the trial. Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, was arrested and jailed a year ago for potentially prejudicing a trial after the Facebook broadcast outside a trial of men accused of sexually abusing teenage girls.

The video was eventually viewed 3.4 million times after being shared following his arrest.

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.

He was initially jailed for 13 months and served two in prison, but the Court of Appeal overturned the original contempt of court verdict in August 2018 and he was freed.

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.

In her sentencing remarks, Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson, of Luton in Bedfordshire, that "nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified".

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