Tommy Robinson supporters 'verbally abuse' journalists after he is sentenced to jail

Tommy Robinson

The activist, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found guilty at London's Old Bailey court last week after he filmed defendants during a trial a year ago and posted the footage on social media, breaching reporting restrictions on the case.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has been sentenced to 9 months in jail over contempt of court charges.

Giving reasons for the contempt finding on Tuesday, 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.

He live-streamed footage of men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls, while the jury in the second of a series of linked grooming trials was considering its verdicts.

Tommy Robinson has been jailed for nine months over contempt of court.

He was found to have committed contempt during a two-day hearing earlier this month.

The maximum sentence for contempt of court is two years in prison, but it can also be punished with an unlimited fine.

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At the Old Bailey on Thursday, Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson that the time he previously spent behind bars for contempt would be taken into account, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks - of which he would serve half before being released.

Robinson was jailed for 13 months in May 2018 after being found in contempt of court on the day of the broadcast.

Some pelted police with bottles and cans and officers donned their helmets.

The activist has said the sentence following his previous, overturned convcition saw him "imprisoned for over 2.5 months in solitary confinement, held against my categorisation, moved to the highest Muslim population Category C prison, subjected to mental torture and constant threats and abuse and had all of my rights removed in the interest of prison safety", and he believes his treatment by the courts and the state more generally is "political persecution".

In her sentencing remarks, Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson, of Luton in Bedfordshire, that "nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified".

Supporters then marched towards the court, chanting "we want Tommy out" and booing when his nine month sentence was handed down.

The Court of Appeal, however, ordered a rehearing and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's chief legal adviser, chose to start contempt proceedings against him. The words he used, said the judge, would be read as "an incitement" to harass the defendants "gave rise to a real risk the course of justice would be seriously impeded".

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