Tommy Robinson jailed for 9 months for contempt of court

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Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, AKA Tommy Robinson, has today been sentenced to 6 months in prison for committing contempt of court by filming outside Leeds Crown Court during a trial.

Tommy Robinson has been jailed for contempt of court over a video he broadcast from Leeds on social media which featured defendants in a criminal trial.

Dozens of angry supporters of British far-right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon scuffled with police and marched on parliament after he was jailed on Thursday for contempt of court.

Two Old Bailey judges said his Facebook Live video of defendants in the trial had encouraged "vigilante action".

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.

The Lord Chief Justice, one of three judges who quashed his contempt conviction, said Robinson wasn't given enough time to muster a defence and didn't understand the charges "muddled" against him. He would serve half before being released, the BBC reported.

Anyone found in contempt of court can be jailed for up to two years, receive an unlimited fine, or both. However, Yaxley-Lennon's 90 minute video was streamed while the jury in the second trial was considering its verdict.

The crowd, booing and chanting "we want Tommy out", started pelting police officers with bottles and cans, the BBC reported.

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In a video shared by his supporters online after his sentencing, he which he wore a black shirt emblazoned with "convicted for journalism", Robinson called on his supporter to protest.

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

They said these were "not credible" and that he had "quite deliberately" broadcasted on the case, telling his viewers that it was the subject of reporting restrictions.

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.

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

He served 10 weeks in prison before being freed after the original finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August.

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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