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Tommy Robinson: EDL founder freed from jail after nine weeks

14 September 2019 National


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Photographs posted on social media showed the English Defence League (EDL) founder smiling, with longer hair and a beard, outside Belmarsh prison in London.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was handed a nine-month sentence at the Old Bailey in July, but was told he would spend only 10 weeks behind bars.

In a video posted online following his release, Robinson said: "First stop – hairdressers."

The far-right activist denied he had been attacked in prison and claimed he was kept in solitary confinement.

"I have walked into Belmarsh prison and walked out without seeing another prisoner," Robinson said.

"They would have [killed me]."

Robinson was jailed after he filmed suspects on trial over the sexual exploitation of young girls and live-streamed the footage on Facebook – breaching a reporting ban.

Judges ruled the 36-year-old had breached the reporting restriction by live-streaming the video outside Leeds Crown Court to 250,000 viewers and by "aggressively confronting and filming" some of the defendants.

In her sentencing remarks, Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson that "nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified".

She also said he had "lied about a number of matters" and that he had wrongly "sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression".

Outside court, hundreds of Robinson’s supporters had gathered and many reacted angrily to the contempt ruling.

Robinson, from Luton, had been jailed for 13 months in May 2018 after a previous trial on the contempt matter.

But he was freed from prison after two months after the Court of Appeal quashed the finding of contempt made in Leeds.

The case was referred back to the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC, who announced in March that fresh contempt proceedings would be brought against Robinson.

His sentence in July was reduced to 19 weeks due his previous time in prison for the same offence, and he was told he would be released after serving half of it.


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