Tommy Robinson, real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was handed a nine-month sentence at the Old Bailey on Thursday, for committing contempt of court by filming defendants in a criminal trial and broadcasting the footage on social media. The EDL founder was branded a “liar” by the judge, and soon after the sentencing, some of his supporters were filmed sparking chaos on the streets. In the footage, the supporters of the former EDL leader were seen marching on Westminster and blocking police vans.
Crowds of angry supporters booed the sentencing and were overheard chanting: “We want Tommy out”.
Daniel Hewitt, political correspondent for ITV news tweeted a video of Tommy Robinson supporters chanting and blocking police vans.
He wrote: “Tommy Robinson supporters have marched on Westminster and are now blocking police vans”.
He later added: “Tommy Robinson supporters are now trying to block another police van outside Westminster Abbey. It looked as though officers arrested someone, put them in the back of the van and the crowd is now stopping it from moving.”
Tommy Robinson supporters have marched on Westminster and are now blocking police vans
Daniel Hewitt, political correspondent for ITV news
Political correspondent for the Guardian Peter Walker said some protesters were massed outside the gates to parliament, blocking Parliament Square.
He said: “Shouts of ‘traitors in there’.”
He later added: “Nasty scenes as police arrest a protester and are surrounded by shouting, jostling crowds. This could easily turn violent.”
During the sentencing, Dame Victoria Sharp told Robinson that the time he previously spent behind bars for the contempt will be taken into account, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks – of which he will serve half before being released.
Passing sentence, Dame Victoria Sharp said: “We are in no doubt that the custody threshold is crossed in this case, in particular having regard to the common law contempt that the respondent committed.
“Nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified.”
She said that the purpose of sentencing for contempt was “punishment and deterrence of the contemnor”, adding: “The court is also concerned to demonstrate its determination to uphold the rule of law.”
She added: “Robinson cannot be given credit for pleading guilty. He has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression.
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“This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt.”
This morning Robinson, 36, from Luton in Bedfordshire arrived at the Old Bailey with Katie Hopkins amid chaotic scenes as smoke bombs went off in the crowds.
The former EDL member wore jeans and a black T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “convicted for journalism” and “Britain = North Korea” on the back.
The Met Police said that no arrests had been made today.
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