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Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, jailed for nine months

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, jailed for nine months

The court ruled that his actions could have jeopardised the trial of a gang of alleged sex offenders who were accused of abusing young girls.

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

The activist's Telegram account slammed the court's ruling and called on his supporters to protest it.

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".

There were scuffles with the police as his supporters blocked the gates to parliament and shouted "paedo protectors" and "we want Tommy out".

Robinson was told that the time he previously spent behind bars for the contempt will be taken into account, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks - of which he will serve half before being released.

He also streamed the footage from outside Leeds Crown Court to Facebook to more than 250,000 viewers, which was in breach of a reporting ban, and the video was eventually viewed 3.4 million times.

"Today's sentencing of Yaxley-Lennon serves to illustrate how seriously the courts will take matters of contempt".

He was sentenced on Thursday.

More news: State of Origin 2019 Game 3: How Ethan Lowe got goalkicking duties

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

Dozens of his supporters have gathered on the streets outside the court, amid a heavy police presence.

Robinson, 36, from Luton, Bedfordshire, broadcast the footage while the jury in the second of a series of linked grooming trials was considering its verdict.

Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby gave permission for the Attorney General to bring a new case against Robinson at a hearing in May.

Robinson had initially been jailed for 13 months for the offence on the day of the broadcast.

The nine month jail sentence served on Thursday includes six months for the Leeds Crown Court offence previous year and another three months for contempt of court, following a suspended sentence given at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.

But the case was referred back to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, whose decision to cite public interest in bringing fresh proceedings against Robinson was approved by High Court judges back in May.

Robinson has 28 days to appeal against his conviction.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader attended court for his sentencing 20 minutes late, wearing a t-shirt reading "convicted of journalism", saying he had been delayed by supporters.


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