Tommy Robinson has won his appeal over a contempt sentence and will be released.
Robinson’s conviction for contempt of court was overturned after a UK court ruled that the process leading to the conviction of the former leader of the English Defence League “was flawed.”
Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, along with two other judges, overturned a finding of contempt, and proceeded to order a new hearing of the allegation.
For his part, Tommy Robinson did not attend the hearing, but witnessed his appeal victory via videolink.
Robinson’s supporters broke into applause as Lord Burnett announced the decision, prompting the judge to order “silence.”
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the breaking news, that is not only a big win for Tommy Robinson, but also a victory for the UK justice system, that has corrected what was a politically motivated contempt verdict.
In a summary of the judgement the trio of judges wrote: “Once the appellant had removed the video from Facebook, there was no longer sufficient urgency to justify immediate proceedings.”
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment in May for breaching reporting restrictions relating to an ongoing trial.
The self-styled journalist live-streamed footage from outside the courthouse on Facebook, and the video was watched some 250,000 times.
A further three months were added to his imprisonment for breaching a previous suspended sentence related to an incident at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.
Fearing protests, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick warned that added security measures were in place around the courthouse.
Dick told the Independent: “We’ll see where the Free Tommy Robinson supporters go next and what they’re thinking next – it is a large set of people at the moment.
“We are thinking about it and will be well-prepared.”
Outside the courthouse some 25 #FreeTommy supporters cheered the decision. They were opposed by a similar number of activists from Stand Up to Racism. The two groups exchanged chants, but were separated by police to avoid violence.
Jeremy Dein QC, Robinson’s lawyer, said his client’s initial court appearance was “unnecessarily and unfairly rushed,” with Robinson being arrested, sentenced and jailed within hours of his arrest.
Robinson had previously been handed a suspended sentence for contempt of court after live-streaming at another case in Canterbury in 2017. Among other arrests, he was also previously detained for “incitement” after a protest in 2013, and was jailed for 18 months for mortgage fraud in 2014.
A date for Robinson’s fresh hearing has not yet been set.