Tommy Robinson breaks his silence on ‘mental torture’ of prison after being freed on bail

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Tommy Robinson has described his prison sentence as an attempt to ‘mentally destroy’ him as he broke his silence about his time behind bars.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, who was released from HMP Onley in Rugby on Wednesday, said he was subject to ‘solitary confinement’.

He was released from the Category C prison after three leading judges in London quashed a contempt finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May.

Tommy Robinson has spoken for the first time about his time in prison (PA)
Robinson said he was placed in solitary confinement while in HMP Onley (PA)

They granted Robinson conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence pending proceedings in another case at the Old Bailey.

Speaking to supporters in a video posted on Facebook, Robinson said he had been a ‘target’.

He said: ‘What they have attempted to do is mentally destroy me. That was not a prison sentence. That was mental torture.

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‘That solitary confinement, all of it, everything was orchestrated and organised to cause me maximum disruption.’

Robinson, 35, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was jailed after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial and broadcast the footage on social media.

He said: ‘I could be bitter and angry about everything that’s happened, but if I’m bitter and angry I’d accept my own victimhood. I’m their target, I’m not their victim.’

Robinson thanked his supporters in a video following his release (Facebook/Tommy Robinson)
Supporters celebrated after the former EDL leader was freed on bail on Wednesday (PA)

Robinson also accused the mainstream media of publishing ‘hit-piece after hit-piece after hit-piece’ about him.

Right-wing media outlets including Fox News, Breitbart and Robinson’s former employer, Rebel Media, flocked to his cause, alongside high-profile figures including Donald Trump Jr and actress Roseanne Barr.

Followers from as far afield as Istanbul and Washington sent him almost £20,000 worth of Bitcoin, including a payment of more than £5,500 which passed through his Bitcoin wallet on the day he was jailed.

Robinson was jailed after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial and broadcast the footage on social media (PA)

Thanking well-wishers from ‘all over the world,’ Robinson said: ‘I did not expect to come home today.’

The video, which was viewed more than a million times in the hours after it was posted, showed his emotional reunion with his children.

Robinson could still face jail over an allegation that he committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.

Judges rejected his lawyers’ argument that there should not be a fresh hearing because he has already served the equivalent of a four-month sentence.