Tommy Robinson's appeal against jail sentence for contempt of court to be heard

<em>Appeal – Tommy Robinson is challenging his 13-month jail term for contempt of court (Picture: PA)</em>
Appeal – Tommy Robinson is challenging his 13-month jail term for contempt of court (Picture: PA)

English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson’s appeal against his 13-month jail term is set to be heard in court.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was jailed for contempt of court in May after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial and shared the footage on social media.

The far-right activist admitted contempt of court and was sentenced to 10 months in prison, with a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.

He will now make a bid to have his sentence cut, with senior judges set to hear the case at the Court of Appeal in London.

<em>Protests – supporters have protested for Robinson’s release (Picture: PA)</em>
Protests – supporters have protested for Robinson’s release (Picture: PA)

Robinson was detained outside Leeds Crown Court in May after broadcasting details of a trial that was subject to blanket reporting restrictions on social media.

The film, lasting around an hour, was watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook.

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Jailing him, Judge Geoffrey Marson told Robinson his actions could cause the trial to be re-run, costing “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds” and the fact he encouraged others to share it was an aggravating feature.

He added: “Everyone understands the right to freedom of speech but there are responsibilities and obligations.

“I am not sure you appreciate the potential consequence of what you have done.

“People have to understand that if they breach court orders there will be very real consequences.”

It was the second time Robinson had breached court orders.

In May 2017 he was given a three-month suspended sentence over footage he filmed during the trial of four men who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.