Protesters at Old Bailey for Tommy Robinson trial

Old Bailey crowds for the Tommy Robinson case
Old Bailey crowds for the Tommy Robinson case

The Old Bailey was swarmed by far-right activists and counter-demonstrators as ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson appeared in court over allegations of contempt of court.

Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is accused of filming people before a criminal trial in May 2017 and then broadcasting footage of another case on social media in May 2018.

These actions went directly against the court’s reporting restrictions, which exist to ensure a fair trial and avoid trial by media.

He was sentenced to 13 months in jail but was released after just three due to procedural failings.

On 23 October the allegations were re-examined.

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Crowds gathered outside the Old Bailey for the Tommy Robinson case

After a brief hearing, the judge decided to refer his contempt case to the Attorney General, who will decide if he should return to prison.

This will allow lawyers to cross-examine Robinson and witnesses to better understand all the evidence.

Another major police operation is expected to be in place for his next hearing amid fears of disorder.

Hundreds cheered and sang his name as Mr Robinson addressed supporters before and after the hearing.

Dozens of City of London Police officers were stationed around the courthouse and Limeburner Lane was closed to allow the demonstration to take place.

london magazine
A heavy police presence was felt in the area surrounding the Old Bailey