Tommy Robinson threatened with legal action over 'bully' video

Nazia Parveen and Vikram Dodd
Tommy Robinson may have breached court orders preventing the naming of the alleged perpetrator. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

The far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson is being threatened with legal action after he posted a video identifying the alleged bully accused of assaulting a Syrian refugee child at school.

Last week, footage was posted online showing the 15-year-old Syrian boy, who can only be identified as Jamal, being allegedly assaulted.

The video of the playground incident at a school in Huddersfield, which showed Jamal being pushed to the ground and having water poured on his face, was watched millions of times and attracted widespread condemnation, including from Theresa May.

In a video posted on Robinson’s Facebook page on Wednesday night, he identifies and interviews the alleged perpetrator, who says he is scared for his life after receiving violent threats.

Nazir Afzal, the former chief prosecutor for the north-west, has contacted the police in relation to Robinson’s latest post.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, may have breached court orders preventing the naming of the alleged perpetrator in several videos on Facebook and Instagram, including one that has been viewed more than 150,000 times.

In a tweet to West Yorkshire police, Afzal said that posting material naming the boy was unlawful. “There are reporting restrictions in relation to alleged assault at Huddersfield school now a youth is charged,” he wrote.

West Yorkshire police previously said a 16-year-old boy had been interviewed over the attack and reported for summons for an offence of assault ahead of a youth court appearance.

In the most recent video the teenager tells Robinson that he and his family had gone into hiding after a video of the incident was widely shared online, adding he was “scared for my life, scared for my family’s life”.

The teenager said: “My address got put out and there were people turning up at my house in cars, all this type of stuff.

“We went into hiding because we’ve had all these threats, rape threats, death threats.”

The former English Defence League founder has previously admitted to spreading fake news about the Huddersfield school where the alleged attack took place, after being threatened with legal action.

Just hours after the video of the alleged attack at Almondbury Community school went viral, Robinson became involved claiming Jamal had previously attacked two schoolgirls. Robinson reposted a screenshot of a message on his Facebook page from a mother claiming her daughter had been bullied.

However, the mother later posted on Robinson’s page denying that it was Jamal who had allegedly attacked her daughter.

Jamal’s solicitor, Tasnime Akunjee, also wrote to Robinson informing him that legal action was being pursued against him as the posts contained “a number of false and defamatory allegations”.

After receiving the letter Robinson admitted to his followers that it was fake news and claimed that he had been duped: “I have been completely had, how embarrassing, man.”

Robinson deleted the videos and admitted to posting a fake photograph purporting to show violence by a Muslim gang. West Yorkshire police have said they are aware of the most recent video.

In a statement the force said: “West Yorkshire police would continue to advise media that proceedings are active and involve a juvenile. We would advise not to share the video on websites or social media sites as it could prejudice future criminal proceedings.”

Meanwhile, Jamal’s legal representatives strongly dismissed the latest claims and confirmed they were again considering legal action.

Akunjee said: “Many people on social media having viewed Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s lies believed them and expressed their outrage toward Jamal.

“Mr Lennon [has] compounded Jamal’s suffering and attempted to further divide a country in so doing. Spreading lies about a person is defamation. It is a legally actionable matter and we have begun the process of taking legal action against Mr Yaxley-Lennon for the wrongs he has committed against our client.”