Tommy Robinson wins appeal of contempt of court sentence

UK appeals court orders far-right activist Robinson released

Robinson's solicitors said everyone has the "right to a fair hearing".

Pressed again by a reporter he said, "All the mainstream media do is lie. I think he's a solid guy and I think he's got to be released from prison".

"I want to thank the British public for all their support".

In his written judgement, Lord Burnett said: "We are satisfied that the finding of contempt made in Leeds following a fundamentally flawed process, in what we recognise were hard and unusual circumstances, can not stand".

Heidi Beirich, deputy director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups across the U.S., said the level of support for Robinson was "extraordinary".

The far-right leader was jailed in May after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial outside Leeds crown court and broadcast the footage on social media.

Three leading judges in London quashed a contempt finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May, and granted Robinson conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence pending new proceedings at the Old Bailey.

He was given 10 months for contempt of court in Leeds and a further three months for breaching the suspended sentence handed to him in Canterbury.

The judges announced they were dismissing Robinson's appeal in respect of the contempt finding at Canterbury Crown Court.

This morning, the Lord Chief Justice's ruling in Robinson's appeal underlined that the rule of law - the rules that apply to us all - must be applied fairly in all circumstances.

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The QC said the proceedings in Leeds had been "unnecessarily and unjustifiably rushed". Robinson was not present in court.

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".

A fresh hearing in relation to the allegation of contempt against Robinson is now due to be held in the near future.

That hearing was adjourned until 22 May, when the judge explained that the filming could have the effect of derailing the trial.

There was also a "muddle over the nature of the contempt being considered" and "the process was flawed", the judges added.

The court had ordered that no reporting of the trial was allowed until another trial linked to it had concluded.

Around 25 of his supporters were gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice by the time the ruling was made.

Both groups of about 30 people were outnumbered by watching police.

Support for Robinson has also come from outside the United Kingdom, with followers from as far afield as Istanbul and Washington sending him nearly £20,000 worth of Bitcoin, including a payment of more than £5,500 which passed through his Bitcoin wallet on the day he was jailed.

Born in 1982, Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, describes himself as "a working-class man from Luton".

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