Tommy Robinson has won his appeal over the contempt sentence, and will be released. 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.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, along with two other judges, quashed a finding of contempt, ordering a fresh hearing of the allegation. Robinson did not attend court but witnessed his appeal hearing via videolink.
Robinson’s appeal was funded by crowdfunding arranged by Rebel Media. Supporters broke into applause as Lord Burnett announced the decision, prompting the judge to order “silence.”
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.
HUGE NEWS: Tommy Robinson wins his appeal! He will be home today! His contempt conviction in Leeds is thrown out; that matter will be re-heard. Attending that new hearing is his only condition of bail. #FreeTommy
— Ezra Levant 🇨🇦 (@ezralevant) August 1, 2018
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.”
A date for Robinson’s fresh hearing has not yet been set.