You are here

Tommy Robinson Freed On Bail

1 post / 0 new
Tommy Robinson Freed On Bail

Tommy Robinson freed on bail after court quashes contempt conviction

The far-right activist Tommy Robinson is to be released from prison on bail after winning his challenge against a 13-month jail sentence for contempt of court.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley, was convicted in May for potentially derailing a long-running trial by live-streaming an hour-long diatribe outside a court in Leeds. The judge had imposed reporting restrictions on the case.

Robinson, who founded the English Defence League, named defendants in the case, the charges they faced and details of the allegations. He also filmed defendants and confronted them as they were entering Leeds crown court. The footage was viewed a quarter of a million times.

Robinson was given ten months for contempt of court, which he admitted, and a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.

However, the Court of Appeal quashed the finding of contempt this morning and ordered a fresh hearing of the allegation.

At a hearing in July, Robinson’s barrister, Jeremy Dein, argued that the original hearing was conducted hastily and that it did not adhere to criminal procedure rules. He also argued that the sentence was “manifestly excessive”.

Lord Burnett of Maldon, the lord chief justice, accepted that the finding of contempt in Leeds followed a “fundamentally flawed process” and ruled that it could not stand.

Robinson had previously been given a suspended sentence for contempt of court after live-streaming at another case, in Canterbury last year.

Rival groups of Robinson supporters and “Stand up to Racism” protesters gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London and swapped chants.

Robinson supporters cheered when news of the ruling filtered through, while a group of about 30 anti-fascist protesters shouted “Nazi scum, off our streets” and “Refugees are welcome here”.

A Royal Navy veteran who saw action in the Falklands was the first Robinson supporter to arrive. Vince Cawthron, 70, made a four-and-a-half hour coach trip from his home near Cwmbran in Wales.

He said he thought Robinson had been unfairly treated.

“I am quietly pleased,” Mr Cawthron, who was born in Hull, said after the decision. “He could be back with his family in hours.”