The British activist and former English Defence League (EDL) leader was earlier found guilty of contempt of court after he livestreamed information about defendants in a case involving the sexual exploitation of underage English girls in 2017.
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has been sentenced to 9 months in jail over contempt of court charges. The court branded his filming of the defendants on the grooming charges, banned by the court reporting rules, as “subjectively reckless”. The activist’s Telegram account slammed the court’s ruling and called on his supporters to protest it.
“Sentenced to prison for journalism. Time for protests to start, this is an absolute joke! Protest outside whatever prison I’m in on Saturday please”, the Telegram statement reads.
Robinson streamed the defendants, charged with the sexual exploitation of minors in 2017, on Facebook during their trial, while court rules prohibited the release of the case details at that time. His live-stream on Facebook revealed the ethnic and religious backgrounds of the grooming gang’s members. He also cited demographic data about the number of Muslims and Pakistanis living in the UK, comparing it with their prevalence among British grooming gangs.
He was first found guilty of breaching court reporting rules in May 2018 and sentenced to 13 months in prison, but the ruling was later successfully appealed two months later.
“By law the maximum sentence is 2 years. There is no guidance for contempt.
The respondent cannot be given credit for pleading guilty or contrition or remorse.
6 months custody for contempt at Leeds. We suggest immediate custody. #TommyRobinson
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) July 11, 2019
Levant live tweeting from the trial says Dame Sharpe has sentenced 'Tommy Robinson' / SYL to six months custody. She also activates the old suspended sentence: making 9 months in total.
Due to a previous period… t.co/TClsQ6I8cd
— TraditionalBritain (@TradBritGroup) July 11, 2019