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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019
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Far-right activist Tommy Robinson given nine-month jail sentence

Robinson was found guilty last week of being in contempt of court.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

TOMMY ROBINSON HAS been jailed for nine months after he was found guilty of being in contempt of court. 

The former leader of the English Defence League was found guilty last week of filming defendants in a criminal trial and broadcasting the footage on Facebook.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has built a large online following in recent years with links to white nationalist and far-right movements. 

He was arrested and jailed last year for potentially prejudicing a trial following a broadcast outside a trial of men accused of sexually abusing teenage girls.

A court later freed him and said the case should be looked at again.

Dame Victoria Sharp, as she passed sentence today, said that Robinson has “lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression”.

“We are in no doubt that the custody threshold is passed in this case. The main purpose of the penalty is punishment and deterrence – and the court’s determination to uphold the rule of law,” she said today.

“This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt,” Sharp added.

Deduction for time served will mean his sentence amounts to 19 weeks, with Robinson expected to serve half of this before being released.

His supporters gathered outside the court in London today to await news of his sentence. 

Robinson arrived outside the court wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with the words “convicted of journalism”, but The Guardian reported that he was wearing a plain back t-shirt inside the Old Bailey. 

Right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins also joined Robinson today to offer him support. 

The BBC reported that his supporters booed when they heard the sentence. A crowd marched towards the Old Bailey chanting “we want Tommy out”. 

Some supporters also threw bottles and cans at police, who were dressed in riot gear. 

Robinson supporters have now moved their protest to the gates of the British parliament. 

On Tuesday, Robinson had asked US President Donald Trump to grant him asylum in the US and claimed he would be killed if he was imprisoned in the UK.

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