British former far-right leader Tommy Robinson freed from prison

Vastavam web: British former far-right leader Tommy Robinson was freed from prison today after winning a legal challenge in a case that has galvanised his supporters worldwide.Robinson, who founded a street-level Islamophobic fringe group called the English Defence League, was serving a 13-month jail sentence.He was jailed for contempt of court and breaching a previous suspended sentence, having used social media to live-stream outside a court in Leeds in northern England in breach of reporting restrictions around a trial.Street protests have demanded the release of Robinson, who has previous convictions for assault, drug possession and fraud.

A panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal in London quashed the finding of contempt, citing technical flaws, and freed him on conditional bail pending a new hearing.”The appellant is granted bail and the matter of contempt at Leeds Crown Court is remitted to be heard again,” said Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett, the head of the English judiciary, reading the judgement.The 35-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was not in court for the hearing.

Around 20 supporters, outnumbered two to one by police officers, chanted his name outside court.”I’m very very happy, he’s going home to his family,” said supporter Dean Henry, 53. Around 20 or so counter-protesters were also present, chanting “Nazi scum, off our streets”.”The danger is that the fascists, who are the hardcore of all this, will spread their venom to the right wing who don’t like migrants.”

In the decision read out in court, the judges revealed background to the case, much of which had previously been subject to reporting restrictions.Burnett said Robinson had filmed inside a court building an offence during a rape trial in Canterbury, southeast England, in May 2017.Robinson was accused of using pejorative language, referring to it as a trial of “Muslim child rapists”. He was given a suspended jail sentence and told he would face immediate imprisonment if he embarks on similar conduct within 18 months.”During his live-streaming the appellant had referred to the supposed religion of the defendants, the ethnicity of the alleged victims, the costs of the prosecutions, and (he) questioned why publication was prohibited,” Burnett said.

Pursuing immediate proceedings against Robinson, the judge in the Leeds trial, Geoffrey Marson, “explained that he was conducting the second of three trials involving a total of 28 Asian men,” Burnett said.Marson told Robinson: “The vast majority of what you were saying was reference to cases like this, to Asian men, to the grooming of 11-year-old girls and the number of cases like this.