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Sunday 17th November 2019

Far-right activist and EDL founder Tommy Robinson jailed for nine months

His original sentence was overturned by the Court of Appeal

Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been handed a nine-month jail sentence for live streaming footage of defendants in a grooming gang trial on Facebook.

The former English Defence League founder, 36, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found guilty of contempt of court on Friday (July 5) following a two-day hearing at London's Old Bailey.

Robinson's sentence comprises six months for filming outside Leeds Crown Court in 2018 and a further three for an incident at Canterbury Crown Court in 2017.

Robinson co-founded the EDL (Credit: TRG /

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With the time he served in jail last year for the same offence deducted from the sentence, his prison stint will amount to 19 weeks with a release on licence after 10 weeks.

Robinson was pictured as he arrived at court earlier this morning (July 11) sporting a printed T-shirt that read 'Convicted of journalism', although he reportedly later changed his top when facing the judges.

According to a report in the Metro he had turned up late, with his barrister Richard Furlong apologising and putting it down to the crowd of supporters outside.

He has a pool of vocal supporters (Credit: R.M.T. /

Judge Dame Victoria Sharp is understood to have told him: "Well, it's not a very good start, is it?"

Robinson was found to be in contempt for breaching a reporting ban by filming, outside Leeds Crown Court in May last year, men accused of sexually exploiting young girls.

The court found Robinson's hour-and-a-half long video encouraged "vigilante action" and attracted 250,000 views the morning it was broadcast.

Robinson's video, which was eventually viewed by 3.4 million, was originally broadcast while the jury considered its verdict on the grooming gang trial.

Well, it's not a very good start, is it?

Reporting restrictions were in place to postpone the publication of case details until all the trials were over.

He was initially jailed for 13 months and served two in prison, but the Court of Appeal overturned the original contempt of court verdict in August 2018 and he was freed.

The case was referred back to the Attorney General, and in March this year it was decided that bringing fresh proceedings against Robinson would be in the public interest.

Robinson was originally jailed for 13 months before the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction (Credit: Wheatley/WENN)

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Judge Dame Victoria, in the fresh trial at the Old Bailey, said viewers would have understood the words he used in the video as "an incitement" to harass the defendants, giving rise to a "real risk" justice would be "seriously impeded".

Robinson said he did not believe he was breaching the reporting restrictions and denied wrongdoing. His argument was that he only referred to information already publicly available.

However, Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby found him in contempt for breaching the reporting restrictions, live-streaming from outside the court's public entrance and "aggressively confronting and filming" defendants.

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