Tommy Robinson supporters arrested after verdict

Tommy Robinson arrives at court

IN COURT Right-wing activist Robinson arrived late for his Old Bailey hearing

British far-right activist and former leader and founder of English Defence League (EDL), Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced this morning after he was found to have committed contempt of court over a video he live-streamed on social media that featured defendants in a criminal trial.

He was found in contempt last week for breaching a reporting ban by videoing defendants accused of sexually exploiting young girls outside a courthouse in Leeds, northern England, while jurors were still considering their verdicts.

He was jailed for six months for the Leeds contempt and a further three months for a previous contempt of court.

The judges at the Old Bailey court in central London said his Facebook Live video had encouraged "vigilante action" and that it breached the reporting restrictions with Robinson "aggressively confronting and filming" some fo the defendants.

The maximum sentence for contempt of court is two years in prison, but it can also be punished with an unlimited fine.

Why what Tommy Robinson did was put Tommy first - what we did was put the victims firstDame 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.

As a prison van thought to contain Robinson drove away, several supporters shouted "we love you, Tommy". 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.

In most cases when someone is alleged to be in contempt of court, the matter will be referred to the Attorney General.

Some in the crowd began pelting police with bottles and cans before they made their way to Parliament Square.

In a written ruling, Dame Victoria said Robinson had claimed his intention in making the broadcast was to "denounce the media" for their behaviour.

But the case was then referred back to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who announced in March that it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against Robinson.

He served two months in jail before being freed after the original finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August 2018.

However he successfully appealed against the conviction and was released.

The content of what he published online gave rise to a substantial risk that the course of justice in the criminal case would be seriously impeded, thereby amounting to a breach of the rule of contempt law known as "the strict liability rule".

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