Tommy Robinson slapped with 9 months in jail for ‘contempt of court’

Tommy Robinson slapped with 9 months in jail for ‘contempt of court’

In a video shared by his supporters online after his sentencing, he which he wore a black shirt emblazoned with "convicted for journalism", Robinson called on his supporter to protest.

The crowd marched towards the Old Bailey chanting "we want Tommy out" before some began pelting police with bottles and cans.

They then went onto nearby College Green where they were filmed intimidating broadcasters who use the space to report on Westminster politics.

Judge Victoria Sharp said in the Old Bailey courthouse that the prison term was necessary to "properly reflect the gravity of the conduct". The video clips revealed the identities of defendants.

A reporting restriction was in place which postponed the publication of any details of the case until the end of all the trials involving 29 people.

In a written ruling, Dame Victoria said Robinson had claimed his intention in making the broadcast was to "denounce the media" for their behaviour.

He served 10 weeks in jail before being freed after the original finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August 2018.

Robinson, 36, from Luton, Bedfordshire, broadcast the footage while the jury in the second of a series of linked grooming trials was considering its verdict.

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The office said Robinson was sentenced to six months in prison for that incident and a further three months for a previous contempt.

The impact the live streaming nearly allowed the groomers to walk free from conviction at Leeds Crown Court, It had such a serious impact on proceedings that the legal proceedings were nearly dropped.

At the Old Bailey on Thursday, Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson that the time he previously spent behind bars for contempt would be taken into account, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks - of which he would serve half before being released.

Robinson's barrister Richard Furlong raised the possibility of an appeal against the court's decision and was told he has 28 days to apply.

Anyone found in contempt of court can be jailed for up to two years, receive an unlimited fine, or both.

"By aggressively confronting and filming some of the defendants in that case as they arrived at court, he interfered with the course of justice", the British Attorney General's Office said a statement announcing the 9-month sentence Thursday.

Contempt includes publishing anything that creates a substantial risk of seriously prejudicing "active" criminal proceedings.

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