British far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson has been given a nine-month jail sentence after being found in contempt of court for live-streaming footage of defendants in a 2018 criminal trial.
Last week, two senior High Court judges at London’s Old Bailey found Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, in breach of a reporting ban. He was sentenced on Thursday.
Robinson’s supporters, including right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins, awaited the verdict outside the court. The crowd held up Union Jack flags and protested in anger when the sentence was announced.
During his trial last week, the 36-year-old founder of the anti-immigration, anti-Muslim English Defence League (EDL) denied wrongdoing, saying that the information he referred to was already in the public domain and he did not believe he had breached reporting restrictions, Britain’s Press Association reported.
Prior to his sentencing, Robinson made a video that was published on the right-wing conspiracy theory website Infowars, in which he begged the US President Donald Trump to grant him and his family political asylum.
Robinson was initially jailed for 13 months for contempt of court for live-streaming videos to Facebook from outside the trial of a grooming gang as the jury was considering its verdict in May 2018.
His conviction was later quashed over procedural matters and the case was referred to the attorney general – who announced in March that it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against him.
The far-right figurehead has attracted thousands of followers both online and at rallies, which have a reputation for violence and for clashes with counter-protesters.
In May, he ran an unsuccessful campaign to become a member of the European Parliament for the UK’s North West region.
He has previously been convicted of assault, drug and public order offenses, mortgage fraud and using another person’s passport to travel to the US.