Tommy Robinson Jailed For 9 Months For Contempt Of Court

Tommy Robinson has been jailed for nine months at the Old Bailey for contempt of court over a video he broadcast on Facebook which featured defendants in a criminal trial.The former English Defence League (EDL) founder, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found to have committed contempt of court following a two-day hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday.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.”Dame Victoria continued: “The respondent (Yaxley-Lennon) 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.”After his sentence, Yaxley-Lennon’s Telegram account said: “Sentenced to prison for journalism. Time for protests to start, this is an absolute joke!”It added: “Protest outside whatever prison I’m in on Saturday please.”Dame Victoria Sharp 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 on Tuesday, Dame Victoria said Yaxley-Lennon 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.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”.Throughout the Old Bailey hearing, Yaxley-Lennon denied any wrongdoing, saying he did not believe he was breaching reporting restrictions and only referred to information that was already in the public domain.But Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby found he was in 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 defendantsRelated...
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