Tommy Robinson is jailed for nine months for contempt of court

12 Juillet, 2019, 01:15 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Tommy Robinson arriving at court

Several supporters of Tommy Robinson have been arrested following clashes with police after he was jailed for contempt of court.

He was found guilty of contempt of court last week in relation to the live streaming which was broadcast to almost a million followers. Robinson will serve up to one half of that period to reflect the time already served.

Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League, received his sentence on Thursday after being found guilty of contempt of court earlier this month.

Angry supporters of Robinson booed as news of his sentencing came in, with crowds chanting "we want Tommy out".

Journalists filming the protest said they were verbally abused, intimidated, and had their equipment attacked before police arrived. The controversial figure filmed defendants in a child grooming trial and broadcast it on Facebook in May a year ago.

Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Warby found Robinson was in contempt in three respects when he filmed men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls and live-streamed the footage on Facebook, in breach of a reporting ban, outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

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.

But the judges found he had encouraged others "to harass a defendant by finding him, knocking on his door, following him, and watching him".

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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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.

The Court of Appeal, however, ordered a rehearing and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's chief legal adviser, chose to start contempt proceedings against him.

Robinson was jailed for 13 months past year and was released from prison upon appeal and resentenced today for nine months.

Robinson's barrister Richard Furlong raised the possibility of an appeal against the court's decision on contempt and was told he has 28 days to apply.

Cox welcomed the sentencing in a statement.

She said the goal of sentencing for contempt was "punishment and deterrence" and said the court was also "concerned to demonstrate its determination to uphold the rule of law".

Contempt of court legislation exists to ensure the fairness and integrity of criminal trials.

The maximum sentence is two years' imprisonment.

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