Tommy Robinson is jailed for nine months for contempt of court

Clay Curtis
July 11, 2019

The case against Robinson came after he filmed a group of men from a Huddersfield grooming gang who were accused of sex offences against young girls in May 2018.

He was found guilty of contempt of court last week in relation to the live streaming which was broadcast to almost a million followers.

The activist's Telegram account slammed the court's ruling and called on his supporters to protest it.

Tommy Robinson has been sent back to prison after being sentenced to nine months in prison.

Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Warby found that Robinson was in contempt by breaching the ban, live-streaming the video from outside the court's public entrance and "aggressively confronting and filming" defendants. Some pelted police with bottles and cans and officers donned their helmets.

The impact the live streaming nearly allowed the groomers to walk free from conviction at Leeds Crown Court, It had such a serious impact on proceedings that the legal proceedings were nearly dropped.

The attorney general said the sentencing illustrated how seriously the courts would take matters of contempt and urged everyone to think carefully about whether their social media posts could amount to contempt of court.

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.

Throughout the Old Bailey hearing, Robinson 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.

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However, Robinson, 36, from Luton, broadcast footage from outside the court on 25 May 2018, while the jury in the second trial of the series was considering its verdict.

Giving reasons for the decision on Tuesday, 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.

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

Sentencing Robinson at the Old Bailey in London on Thursday, Judge Dame Victoria Sharp told him: "You will be committed in prison for a period of 19 weeks".

The judges also rejected claims by Yaxley-Lennon that he had made checks in the court about reporting restrictions.

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.

The nine months comprises six months for Robinson's actions outside Leeds Crown Court, and the activation of a separate three-month suspended sentence for similar actions at Canterbury Crown Court.

Robinson arrived at court wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "convicted of journalism", and also sporting a badge reading "I support soldiers A-Z".

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