Tuesday, 15 October, 2019


Robinson jailed for contempt of court

Tommy Robinson OFFENCE Robinson filmed defendants in a trial and broadcast the footage on social media
Bennie Garza | 11 July, 2019, 22:03

Robinson had instructed his lawyer "to read out a series of past Contempt of Court findings against newspapers which (in summary) had not led to jail terms for editors or reporters accused of disrupting trials", according to BBC reporter Dominic Casciani, but to no avail, with judges imposing a custodial term only one month shorter than his previous sentence, declaring that "the main goal of the penalty is punishment and deterrence".

He was originally sentenced to 13 months in jail last summer, but he only served two months after the contempt finding was overturned and he was released.

Scores of Robinson's supporters had gathered outside the court on Thursday, chanting his name and waving flags.

Robinson denied any wrongdoing throughout the trial, seemingly unaware of the meaning of contempt of court, which is created to ensure fair criminal trials.

He was found guilty following a two-day hearing at the Old Bailey last week.

The 36-year-old co-founder of the English Defence League, which has staged violent demonstrations against Islam, was previously jailed for making and live-streaming the video recordings outside a courthouse in Leeds, in northern England. He was committed to prison for a further 3 months for a previous contempt.

The judge added: "The respondent (Robinson) can not be given credit for pleading guilty".

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". The controversial figure filmed defendants in a child grooming trial and broadcast it on Facebook in May a year ago.

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

Fresh proceedings were found by the Attorney General to be in the public interest in March this year.

A retrial was ordered after Robinson appealed the sentence with the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, saying the ruling was "flawed".

Posting material online that breaches reporting restrictions or risks prejudicing legal proceedings has consequences, and I would urge everyone to think carefully about whether their social media posts could amount to contempt of court. He now faces yet another stint behind bars.

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.

And then seemed to contradict the plea, with another plea for cash donations from his supporters, in a video filmed ahead of his sentencing on Thursday.

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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