Tommy Robinson has been given a nine-month jail sentence – of which he will serve about 10 weeks – after he was found guilty of contempt of court at an earlier hearing.
The 36-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, broadcast reports that encouraged “vigilante action” and “unlawful physical” aggression against defendants in a sexual exploitation trial, according to the judges who found him guilty last week
Passing sentence today, Dame Victoria Sharp said of Robinson: “He has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression.
“This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt.”
Robinson, from Luton in Bedfordshire, had denied breaching a reporting ban by livestreaming footage of defendants arriving at court. He insisted he had only referred to information already in the public domain.
After deduction for time served the sentence will amount to 19 weeks, of which he will serve half before being released.
The former leader of the far-right English Defence League flashed a V for victory sign to the public gallery on hearing the sentence, and later winked as he slung a bag over his shoulder and was led away by prison officers.
He arrived outside the Old Bailey dressed in blue jeans and a black T-shirt bearing the words “convicted of journalism” but was wearing a plain black one inside, where his barrister apologised for the defendant’s late arrival. Sharp, the lead judge, said: “Well, it’s not a very good start, is it?”
Police officers put on riot helmets and drew batons as bottles and cans were thrown when crowds of Robinson supporters outside the court erupted with anger after the news from inside filtered through.
Passing sentence alongside Mr Justice Warby, Sharp told Robinson they were in no doubt that the custody threshold had been passed and that the judges had taken account of information including the impact of prison on his health and on his family. Read more