The court proceedings for his 2018 contempt of court charge have finally come to an end, with sentencing expected on 11 July
Far-right extremist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson), who has multiple convictions for violence, arrived at London’s Old Bailey yesterday to face a retrial over a 2018 contempt of court charge, which carries a maximum of two years in prison.
Lennon was initially jailed for 13 months in May 2018 after breaking reporting restrictions by filming and broadcasting from outside the court of an ongoing trial. However, he was freed after 2 months following the initial contempt charge being quashed.
Lennon has presented himself as a martyr throughout his most recent legal woes, and he has become something of a lightning rod for anti-Muslim and far-right, pro-”free speech” activists in the UK and internationally. A number of large scale protests were held in London throughout last year in his support, in which numerous figures bemoaned the supposed erosion of freedom of speech on a large stage to thousands outside Downing Street. Some of these protests were marred by violence.
After his recent humiliation in the European elections and his continued online deplatforming, the result is a major blow.
Protests outside Court
Both days of the two-day trial have seen Lennon’s supporters gathering outside the Old Bailey, with figures from UKIP, the fringe anti-Muslim party For Britain, known racists such as David Coppin, and, for some reason, a man dressed in a full suit of armour.
Speakers included convicted kidnapper Daniel Thomas (AKA Danny Tommo), and former UKIP leader Gerard Batten, fresh from leading his party to disaster at the European elections, who immediately sapped the energy from the crowd, telling supporters “The government of this country is now the enemy of its people”. Also present was Australian anti-Muslim activist and close Lennon ally Avi Yemini, who yesterday deliberately stirred up tensions with police, encouraging the crowd to shout “shame” at them after he was refused entry to the press area.
On the first day of the trial, Lennon’s team screened a video outside court with a voiceover taken from an episode of the TV series NCS Manhunt, described by Thomas as a “very fitting video”, despite the fact that the NCS episode in question was about a far-right terrorist trying to foment a race war.
Crowds today chanted “there’s only one James Goddard”, after the racist troublemaker was arrested yet again.
Following the news of the verdict, Lennon supporters hurled abuse at the police protecting the barrier outside the Old Bailey.