Tommy Robinson contempt of court case referred to Attorney General as he says: 'I've already won'

Ross McGuinness
Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson addresses his supporters as he arrives at the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)
Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson addresses his supporters as he arrives at the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)

The contempt of court case against former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has been referred to the Attorney General.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard made the decision at the Old Bailey on Tuesday morning.

Before the hearing, Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – claimed he had “already won” as he addressed a crowd of supporters outside the court.

The court heard that in the current setting, lawyers would not be able to perform an appropriate cross-examination of the evidence.

“I think it necessary to look at quite a lot of the detail of what Mr Yaxley-Lennon said in the broadcast as to come to the overall picture as to what happened,” the judge said.

“I’m satisfied in the light of the issues as they now appear as they emerged from the statement of yesterday, that cross-examination of Mr Yaxley-Lennon is necessary for a proper and thorough examination and resolution of the case that is in the public interest.”

Robinson was released on bail.

Fans had chanted “Oh Tommy Tommy” and blasted klaxons outside the Old Bailey as he walked into court.

The 35-year-old was freed from prison in August after three leading judges quashed a contempt of court finding made at Leeds Crown Court.

Crowds wait for the arrival of Tommy Robinson at the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)
Crowds wait for the arrival of Tommy Robinson at the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)

He risked being sent back to jail if again found in contempt for filming people in a criminal trial in Leeds and broadcasting the footage on social media.

Robinson walked through the chanting crowd to make an address rather than take the easy route from behind the stage.

“We want Tommy out,” they shouted, as supporters filmed him on their phones.

They patted the suited EDL founder on the back and expressed their gratitude.

Robinson told crowds he had scored a victory regardless of whether he is sent back to jail.

“No matter what happens today, I’ve already won,” he said.

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“Their attempts to silence and stop people having the knowledge of the Muslim rape gangs that are terrorising our nation.
“The entire world is now watching.”

He blamed the government, police and social services for “sacrificing a generation of our daughters at the hands of the multiculturalism altar”.

The media is “the enemy of the people”, he yelled, eliciting the crowd to respond: “Shame on you.”

Metropolitan Police and their colleagues from the City of London manned barricades outside court for the rally, which was attended by up to 1,000 of Robinson’s supporters.

Large crowds gathered outside the Old Bailey in London before the hearing (Picture: PA)
Large crowds gathered outside the Old Bailey in London before the hearing (Picture: PA)
Police keep an eye on crowds of supporters of Tommy Robinson (Picture: PA)
Police keep an eye on crowds of supporters of Tommy Robinson (Picture: PA)

England and Union flags, as well those for Ukip, were flying as dozens of protesters gathered.

Under the watchful gaze of officers, the largely male crowd chanted “oh Tommy Robinson”, while some drank an early can of Stella Artois before the hearing.

A supporter in a Union flag suit said: “I have come here to support Tommy because there’s so many injustices going on in the world today.

“I’ve learned so many things in the last two years, such as the killings of anyone that’s not of the Islamic faith.”

Robinson spoke to the crowds ahead of his court hearing (Picture: PA)
Robinson spoke to the crowds ahead of his court hearing (Picture: PA)
Anti-racism protestors outside the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)
Anti-racism protestors outside the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)

A small group of anti-fascism campaigners faced Robinson fans before the hearing.

Last month, Robinson was ushered into court amid similar scenes outside.

Following the brief hearing on September 27, a video appearing to show Robinson at a window within the court building was posted on the Twitter account of Ezra Levant, a reporter for the right-wing Rebel Media organisation.

In the footage Robinson says “that’s such a good feeling” before promising to go and greet the crowd of hundreds of supporters cheering and chanting outside.

Tommy Robinson’s supporters have campaigned for his release (Picture: PA)
Tommy Robinson’s supporters have campaigned for his release (Picture: PA)

The video is believed to have been made in the canteen on the Old Bailey’s second floor. By the afternoon, it had been viewed more than 160,000 times.

Section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 (CJA 1925) makes it an offence to photograph people within
court precincts.

City of London had confirmed they were looking into whether any offences were committed at September court appearance.