Tommy Robinson in court over contempt claim

Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson is due to appear at the Old Bailey accused of contempt of court.

The far-right activist was released from prison last month after three leading judges quashed a finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May, and granted him conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence.

Robinson, 35, is expected to appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday under his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, to face a fresh hearing over the allegation.

He is alleged to have committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.

Robinson left HMP Onley in Rugby on August 1 but could face being sent back to jail if the judge finds him in contempt – the maximum sentence is two years imprisonment.

He was jailed in May after filming people involved in a criminal trial and broadcasting the footage on social media, and has already served the equivalent of a four-month sentence.

Robinson was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for contempt of court, which he admitted, and a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.

Tommy Robinson court case
Tommy Robinson was freed from Onley Prison, near Rugby, last month (Joe Giddens/PA)

In May last year he faced contempt proceedings over footage he filmed during the trial of four men who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.

A judge at Canterbury Crown Court gave him a three-month suspended sentence and told him his punishment was not about “freedom of speech or freedom of the press” but about “justice and ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly”.

Robinson appealed against both contempt findings at a hearing last month heard by Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Mr Justice Turner and Mrs Justice McGowan.

They found the judge at Leeds should not have commenced contempt proceedings that day.

Lord Burnett said “no particulars of the contempt were formulated or put to the appellant”, and there was “a muddle over the nature of the contempt being considered”.

He added: “Where a custodial term of considerable length is being imposed, it should not usually occur so quickly after the conduct which is complained of; a sentence of committal to immediate custody had been pronounced within five hours of the conduct taking place.”

The judges dismissed Robinson’s appeal in respect of the contempt finding at Canterbury Crown Court.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS