If the Far-Right Want Justice for Tommy Robinson, They Already Have It

Other | Wednesday 13th June 2018 | Zakk

Since Tommy Robinson’s imprisonment for contempt of court on May 25th, protests to free him in the name of free-speech have been carried out across London and other cities.

Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was already given a suspended sentence last year for attempting to film four defendants entering Canterbury Crown Court for a rape trial.

On May 25th, Robinson was arrested, charged, and sentenced to 13 months in prison for posting a live stream to Facebook in which he filmed defendants outside of Leeds Crown Court, and later discussed elements of the case.

This is illegal under Section 9 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981; primary legislation that inhibits anyone from recording, reporting, or publishing court proceedings without prior leave of the court.

This act is in place to ensure that juries are not swayed by information, potentially false or biased, outside of the legal proceedings of the case. The two outcomes of breaching this act are that either the legal process is disrupted to the point of a false verdict, or that the case collapses entirely.

By breaching this act not only once, but twice, Robinson undermines and threatens judicial process.

In the words of Judge Norton of Canterbury Crown Court after delivering Robinson’s suspended sentence last year:

“This is not about free speech… and not about political correctness.

“It is about justice and ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly. It’s about being innocent until proven guilty.

“It is about preserving the integrity of the jury to continue without people being intimidated or being affected by irresponsible and inaccurate reporting, if that’s what it was.”

The far-right can’t pick-and-choose when the law is applied. If they say they want justice for criminals, then this is what it looks like.

Robinson was not jailed for exercising free-speech, he was jailed for repeatedly impeding legal proceedings after already being warned.