Tommy Robinson sentenced to nine months in jail

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 11, 2019

He was previously jailed for sharing the video, taken outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

A social media account in Robinson's name called the sentence an "absolute joke" and said it was time to protest.

- What is contempt of court?

Robinson was initially arrested, tried, and imprisoned within a matter of hours after livestreaming accused grooming gang members - later convicted - whose case was subject to reporting restrictions, but freed by appellate judges who ruled his initial hearing had been rushed and unfair.

The activist, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found guilty at London's Old Bailey court last week after he filmed defendants during a trial past year and posted the footage on social media, breaching reporting restrictions on the case.

British far-right activist Tommy Robinson was sentenced again to prison Thursday after being found in contempt of court, sparking clashes between police and his supporters in London.

Judge Victoria Sharp said in the Old Bailey courthouse that the prison term was necessary to "properly reflect the gravity of the conduct". Those images, according to Reuters, had revealed the identities of defendants accused of sexually exploiting young girls, while jurors were still weighing the outcome of their case.

However, a government spokesman confirmed that Robinson will be treated "like any other prisoner" after claiming United Kingdom prisons are run by "jihadi gangs".

"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.

A number of Robinson's supporters who gathered outside the court on Thursday and Friday reacted angrily after the verdict was announced.

During the 2018 case at Leeds Crown Court, reporting restrictions had been put in place postponing the publication of any details until the end of a series of linked trials involving 29 defendants.

They concluded 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 defendants.

Robinson was originally jailed for 13 months on the day of the Facebook broadcast, but was released two months into his sentence after winning an appeal.

But the case was referred back to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, whose decision to cite public interest in bringing fresh proceedings against Robinson was approved by High Court judges back in May.

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