British far-right activist Tommy Robinson jailed for nine months

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2019

"Today's sentencing of Yaxley-Lennon serves to illustrate how seriously the courts will take matters of contempt", said Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's chief legal adviser Yaxley-Lennon, who arrived at court wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the message "Convicted of Journalism" with the words "Britain = North Korea" on the back, was arrested in May a year ago for making the video recordings and jailed for 13 months later that day.

"The respondent can not be given credit for pleading guilty".

Supporters of Robinson gathered outside the court as the sentence was handed down.

Robinson, who founded the English Defense League organization, was originally sentenced previous year to 13 months in jail after broadcasting the Leeds footage, but was released two months into the term following a successful appeal.

Passing sentence today, Dame Victoria Sharp said: "He [Robinson] has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression".

"By aggressively confronting and filming some of the defendants in that case as they arrived at court, he interfered with the course of justice", the British Attorney General's Office said a statement announcing the 9-month sentence Thursday.

Giving reasons for the decision, Dame Victoria said Robinson encouraged "vigilante action" in the video, which lasted an hour-and-a-half and was viewed online 250,000 times on the morning of the broadcast.

"This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt".

The video was eventually viewed 3.4 million times after being shared following his arrest.

His case was referred back to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox who launched new proceedings in March, arguing it was in the public's interest.

His online publication of details about the criminal case involved a breach of a reporting restriction order imposed under s4 (2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

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.

In a written ruling released earlier this week, Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby explained why they had found the 36-year-old guilty.

The judges also rejected claims by Yaxley-Lennon that he had made checks in the court about reporting restrictions.

He referred to the sentence as an "absolute joke", having arrived at court in a t-shirt that said "Convicted of Journalism" with a design comparing the United Kingdom to North Korea on the back.

He added: 'There have been no further instances of contempt'.

However, he had changed into a plain black T-shirt by the time he arrived in court with his legal team.

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