Tommy Robinson’s appeal: will his world class legal team get him out of prison?

According to Tommy Robinson’s family’s “authorised spokesman,” Ezra Levant, the gaoled activist has appealed against his 13 month sentence for contempt of court.

We will have a look at what is actually likely to happen when his case gets to court in a moment, but there may be some readers who have not been following the story closely.

Why is Tommy Robinson in prison?

Since 25th May Mr Robinson, real name Steven Yaxley-Lennon, has been serving a sentence of 13 months imprisonment for contempt of court. The sentence is made up of a 3 month sentence passed for contempt of the Canterbury Crown Court in 2017, originally suspended but now activated, and a 10 month consecutive sentence imposed for a separate contempt of the Leeds Crown Court on 25th May 2018. The Judge who sent him to prison, Geoffery Marson QC, was at the time presiding over a trial involving allegations against a number of defendants.  Unfortunately we do not know many more details because reporting restrictions are in place, probably to prevent jurors in another case hearing inadmissible evidence.

Reporting restrictions? What’s that about? If something is said in court surely it can be reported?

Actually, no. Until a verdict is delivered, only things said in court in the presence of the jury can be reported. Legal argument invariably takes place while jurors are relaxing in the comfort of their retiring room (the lucky ones among them may even get to re-read a 2011 Woman’s Realm several times), and it cannot be reported until the trial is over. Very often the argument is about the admissibility of evidence. Obviously if you report arguments about admissibility of evidence then jurors may read about evidence even if it is ruled inadmissible, which is hardly very fair.

I can see the reason for that, but the press isn’t allowed to report any of these trials? How ridiculous is that?

It’s not ridiculous at all. It’s to protect the fairness of the trials. Where there are two trials with an overlap of evidence, defendants or witnesses between them, evidence which is admissible in one trial may be inadmissible in another. Sometimes even the fact that a person has been on trial in the first case is liable to prejudice the jury in the second one. Sometimes there may be more than two linked trials, when the matter becomes still more complicated and unpredictable.

The fundamental principle is that a fair trial requires a defendant to be tried only on legally admissible evidence, and in circumstances where he or she can challenge any evidence in dispute. If jurors are likely to be diverted from their task by reports of what may have happened in another trial, that can make a fair trial impossible.

The principal difference between a fair trial and mob justice is that the former is conducted according to rules, and those rules need to be backed, ultimately, by the possibility of punishment for those who break them.

So did Tommy break the reporting restrictions?

He may have done, but his contempts of court went further than that. He published videos on his You Tube channel in which he made prejudicial comments about ongoing cases before verdicts had been delivered.

What did he actually do wrong?

Let’s look at the Canterbury offence first.

Mr Robinson came to the Crown Court where a trial was going on hoping to film the defendants. As at all courts there were prominent notices warning that filming in the precincts of a court is a criminal offence under S.41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925. Coming to court is enough of an ordeal without having to worry about an aggressive Tommy Robinson thrusting his mobile phone in your face and demanding that you say something. The judge learnt what he was up to, and directed that the jurors and defendants leave by a separate entrance. He was told to stop, but he carried on filming anyway. Unable to find any defendants to film, he made a glorified selfie of himself, talking to the camera both inside and on the steps outside the court building. He then posted the film on You Tube under the headline:

Tommy Robinson in Canterbury, exposing Muslim child rapists. Police help them escape.”

His commentary referred to the defendants as “Muslim paedophiles.”

The judge decided that this behaviour was a clear contempt of court. It was:

… pejorative language which prejudges the case, and it is language and reporting – if reporting indeed is what it is – that could have had the effect of substantially derailing the trial.”

A contempt of court is a common law offence, committed where someone does anything which is “calculated to prejudice a fair trial.” Although the word “calculated” might seem to imply a degree of premeditation, or at least intent to prejudice a trial, in fact no such intent need normally be proved if the conduct in fact creates such a risk: see Solicitor General v Cox and Another (Contempt of Court: Illegal Photography) [2016] EWHC 1241 (QB) [2016] 2 Cr. App. R. 15. Furthermore, where a “publication” to the general public is concerned (and placing footage on You Tube would be within the statutory definition of “publication”), the Contempt of Court Act 1981 makes it clear that no further intent need be proved.

Mr Robinson’s intention was immaterial to his guilt, although it was of course relevant to his sentence.

Well, what did Tommy say about it?

Mr Robinson was represented by counsel. He does not appear to have disputed that he was in contempt, but he pleaded ignorance of the law – mitigation, of course, rather than a defence – and through counsel apologised for his behaviour.

Let me guess, he had some rubbish duty solicitor who didn’t know the law?

No, he was represented by two counsel. They were not run of the mill hacks like Barristerblogger, and one of them, Richard Kovalevsky QC, is indisputably one of the country’s top criminal barristers. His citation in The Legal 500 strongly recommends him, for his “strategic treatment of difficult issues and collegiate approach,” as well as hisout-of-the-box thinking” which can be a game-changer.’

I may be wrong, but Mr Robinson doesn’t really strike me as the sort of man who would be attracted by a collegiate approach, so I would guess it was the out-of-the-box thinking that appealed. In fact, on this occasion Mr Kovalevsky’s thinking seems to have been fairly conventional. He grovelled, pretty effectively, on Mr Robinson’s behalf.

He urged on Her Honour that his client had been a little “naïve.” The judge said she found that “rather difficult to accept that at face value,” but accept it she eventually did. Mr Kovalevsky also suggested – perhaps this was a little more out-of-the-box – that his client might be murdered if he was sent to prison. It seems to have been a possibility that concerned Judge Norton, and it persuaded her to suspend the sentence. He left the court with these words ringing in his ears:

You should be under no illusions that if you commit any further offence of any kind, and that would include, I would have thought a further contempt of court by similar actions, then that sentence of three months would be activated, and that would be on top of anything else that you were given by any other court.

The sentence was suspended for 18 months.

OK, that was Canterbury, what did he do wrong in Leeds?

Almost a year to the day after getting the suspended sentence in Canterbury Mr Robinson turned up at Leeds Crown Court towards the end of a similar trial. He shouted at defendants as they were going into court, asking if they had their prison bags ready. He commented unfavourably on the defendants’ demeanour after he bated them. He read out a list of charges which he said that the defendants were facing, although it seems he included allegations that were not in fact proceeded with. He called a passer-by a “scumbag.” From time to time he threw in the word “alleged,” although generally with a leer, as though the very notion that a defendant might be innocent was too absurd to be taken seriously.

Yeah, but Tommy’s not a racist is he?

Well, we’re getting a bit distracted here because the question of his racism is rather beside the point.

Isn’t he entitled to his free speech, even if it’s racist?

Normally I would be happy to defend his right to free speech, however unpleasant, but all this was live-streamed on the internet for over an hour, and Mr Robinson encouraged his viewers to share the video far and wide, so that it might be seen by “millions.” His racism – if that is what it was – is neither here nor there. The point is that it was capable of intimidating members of the public, and prejudicing jurors against the defendants.

It is unpleasant, menacing and inflammatory, and more rather than less unsettling because of the cheerful-chappie manner in which it’s delivered; but of course what made it criminal is that Mr Robinson was knowingly carrying it on immediately outside the court building where a serious trial was going on, and encouraging his supporters to share it far and wide. Within hours it had been seen by 250,000 people.

I’ve heard that he was arrested just for breach of the peace, but then charged with contempt of court, something completely different? Isn’t that highly unusual? What the hell’s going on here?

No, it’s not even slightly unusual. The crime for which someone is prosecuted often bears no resemblance to what they were originally arrested for. The Yorkshire Ripper, for example, was originally arrested for having a false numberplate, before being prosecuted for multiple murders.

But Tommy was sentenced just 5 hours after he was arrested? How could that be fair?

He admitted the offence. When an offence is admitted, in English law there isn’t a trial. He had plenty of time to instruct a lawyer and to give him instructions. The procedure the judge followed appears to have been entirely consistent with the Criminal Procedure Rules. All things being equal, especially where the facts are not in dispute, swift justice is better than slow justice.

But he had a useless lawyer, right?

Wrong.

He had Matthew Harding, a Leeds barrister with over 15 years experience at the criminal bar. He is exactly the sort of barrister you would get if you were charged with rape, drug dealing or GBH. He’s not useless at all.

If he’s so good, why didn’t he fight the case then? He could have called witnesses, cross-examined the police and argued Tommy’s right to free speech?

He could have done all those things, and no doubt would have done some of them, if Mr Robinson had instructed him to contest the allegation. But he didn’t. He admitted he was guilty. He could hardly argue about the facts of what he’d done: the evidence was all over You Tube. Even so, he could have argued:

  • That it wasn’t a contempt of court because it posed no danger of prejudicing the jury in the trial;
  • That his behaviour might have prejudiced the trial, but his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights should take priority over the defendants’ Article 6 right to a fair trial.Very sensibly, because both arguments are rubbish, he did neither.

He no doubt expected to get a lighter sentence if he fessed up and said he was sorry. I daresay he was right.

According to Hull Live:

Matthew Harding, mitigating, said his client felt “deep regret” after realising the potential consequences of his actions.

He said Robinson was aware of the reporting restriction in place in the case but thought what he was saying on camera was already in the public domain.

The barrister added: “He was mindful, having spoken to others and taken advice, not to say things that he thought would actually prejudice these proceedings.

“He did not try to cause difficulties for the court process.”

To which one is inclined to say “Hmm,” but a barrister doesn’t just make things up, he says them on instructions. In this case Mr Robinson’s instructions. Robinson must have told him he had deep regret over his actions.

Mr Harding also put forward the other thing that had kept Robinson out of gaol in Canterbury:

there had been “a price on his head” during his last prison term with inmates being offered the reward of drugs and mobile phones to kill him.”

It was never very likely that he could use the same argument successfully again, and so it proved. On the other hand his strategy of admitting guilt and apologising, no doubt got him a lighter sentence.

Come on though! 13 months for contempt of court? That’s unprecedented.

No, it’s not unprecedented at all. The maximum sentence is 2 years imprisonment. Andrew Keogh, editor of Crime Line Law, and someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the criminal law, has pointed out that there have been dozens and dozens of cases where contemnors have been sentenced to between 12 and 24 months. Both of Mr Robinson’s sentences were less than 12 months, although combined of course, they were just over.

There is no case law involving precisely similar conduct, but one case which has some parallels is R v. Vincent D [2004] EWCA Crim 1271, where the brother of a defendant took pictures on his mobile phone of a witness, a prison officer and the defendant himself inside the court-room during a trial. The photographs were of poor quality and it wasn’t possible to identify the witness or the prison officer. The brother admitted contempt. He said he had taken the photographs for fun. The Crown Court Judge imposed a sentence of 12 months, pointing out, amongst other things, the considerable risk that the trial, in that case a long-running drugs conspiracy, might have had to have been abandoned and started all over again. The Court of Appeal upheld the sentence.

What is, if not unprecedented, at least remarkable about the case is Mr Robinson’s flagrant disregard of the shot across his bows in Canterbury, and his repetition of almost exactly the same conduct. A refusal to obey the clear orders of the court is generally regarded as a pretty important aggravating feature. If a burglar gets a 3 month suspended sentence for a burglary in 2017, he should expect to get a much longer, consecutive and immediate sentence for carrying out an almost identical burglary 12 months later. The principle is the same for contempt of court.

Judge Marson explained why he viewed Robinson’s contempt so seriously:

No one could possibly conclude that it would be anything other than highly prejudicial to the defendants’ in the trial.”

If the jurors in my present trial get to know of this video I will no doubt be faced with an application to discharge the jury.”

It is not clear whether or not he was faced with such an application, or (if he was) what he decided.

How does Tommy Robinson appeal then?

Like anyone else unhappy with their verdict or sentence, Robinson can apply to the Court of Appeal to quash the conviction or reduce the sentence.

In fact he’s in a slightly better position than most. Under S.13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 he has an appeal as of right; he doesn’t even need to ask for permission from a single judge as he would if he had been convicted in court in an “ordinary” case.

Well that should be a doddle, shouldn’t it? He was arrested and sentenced within 5 hours. How’s that fair?

Actually he doesn’t seem to be arguing with his conviction. Despite all the hoo-ha, the marches, the demos, the intervention of the shock-jocks and of Katie Hopkins herself, his spokesman has said that he’s appealing his sentence, not the fact of the conviction.

Hang on! That’s hardly his fault, is it? He can’t appeal it now, because he pleaded guilty, and that was all the fault of his useless public defender lawyer.

Let’s break that down a little bit.

  1. Sorry to repeat myself but he didn’t have a useless public defender lawyer. He had a very good independent barrister.
  2. It’s actually quite possible to appeal against conviction after a plea of Guilty.
  3. It’s a bit of a technicality perhaps, but the procedure for contempt of court does not require a “guilty plea” to be entered anyway. Instead, the defendant is asked if he admits the conduct in question, and if he does no evidence need be called.
  4. Mr Robinson admitted it, and apologised for it.
  5. Despite that, he can still appeal though.
  6. Although Mr Harding did an excellent job, he’s got an entirely new legal team now. According to Ezra Levant (one of a rather bewildering array of Tommy Robinson supporters, spokespeople sidekicks and PAs):

“Tommy has switched lawyers. He now has a top law firm that is filing an appeal. They are giving Tommy the world-class representation that he needs.”

  1. If the top law firm believes that he has the slightest chance of successfully appealing against the fact of his contempt, you may be sure that they would be trying to do so. If they are not, (and according to Mr Levant they are not) that indicates that they don’t believe there are any grounds even to argue the point. In other words, for all the hot air from his supporters, Tommy’s world-class lawyers appear to accept that his conviction for contempt of court is legally sound. They’re arguing about the sentence.

How is Tommy paying for these top lawyers?

The world class representation is being crowd-funded. According to Mr Levant:

We anticipate this will be tens of thousands of pounds. But that’s fine – this is the most important legal case in the United Kingdom.”

I must admit I gulped when I read “tens of thousands of pounds.” I’ve no problem with Mr Robinson paying one of my stellar colleagues whatever the market will bear, but the idea that an appeal against sentence normally costs tens of thousands of pounds is ludicrous.

Then I gulped again when I saw the case described as “the most important legal case in the United Kingdom.” I hadn’t realised that.

However, if you read a little further into the press release, it turns out that the crowd-funding is not just for his legal fees: the surplus is going to Tommy’s family.

Well the sentence is just insanely long, isn’t it? I’ve heard Katie Hopkins say so.

Although the opinion of distinguished academics can sometimes be cited in court, that of Katie Hopkins is unlikely to be accorded much weight.

I suppose he may have the beginnings of an argument on the procedural issue. The judge could have adjourned Robinson’s case for a few days, until after the trial was over. In some cases waiting for a few days for the dust to settle, for legal advice to be given and reflected upon may make sense. Hot heads, including occasionally judicial ones, can cool down; things done in anger may be genuinely regretted. Mr Robinson now seems aggrieved that he didn’t have time to instruct a lawyer of his own choosing, although whether that is something that he raised at the time, or just a complaint his supporters have thought up since is not clear.

On the other hand here were excellent reasons why the judge decided to act as he did. Robinson had shown a determination to carry on his filming and his You Tube posting despite an earlier court order. His behaviour had already caused a huge distraction at a critical stage of the trial. The last thing he needed was Robinson and his supporters continuing to distract the jury and intimidate the defendants. He could have remanded him in custody until the conclusion of the trial, but it’s hard to see what a delay would have achieved beyond giving Mr Robinson’s supporters further reason to demonstrate outside the Leeds Crown Court. And whilst it’s true that people should have a free choice of lawyer, the courts are very rarely willing to adjourn an urgent hearing to allow a defendant to instruct a particular lawyer if other competent representation is available, as it was. In that respect Mr Robinson was treated in exactly the same way as any other defendant.

In any case, a quibble over procedure is only the beginnings of an argument. What really matters is whether the sentence was actually too long. The Administration of Justice Act 1960 does not use the words, but whether it was “manifestly excessive” will be the issue for the Court of Appeal, as it is in ordinary appeals against sentence.

It’s very difficult to see that it was. The aggravating features were many:

  1. The risk to the trial was manifest. It had lasted weeks, it was of the utmost seriousness.
  2. Mr Robinson was not, as in other cases, taking photographs for private purposes, he was making a campaigning and deliberately provocative film and encouraging others to spread it around the internet.
  3. As well as filming defendants on the steps of the court (he himself seems to have taken care to remain just off the court steps), he bated and mocked them as they arrived for court, asking one of them, for example, if he “had his prison bag.” It was not behaviour which did a great deal to enhance the dignity of the court.
  4. It was carried on whilst Mr Robinson was subject to a suspended sentence for almost identical behaviour.

Sometimes of course, and not just in contempt cases, things that have happened after a person has gone to prison can influence the court. Prison governors occasionally write to the Court to say that they have seen particularly good behaviour or a prison chaplain might say that a prisoner has demonstrated a particularly high degree of remorse.

In Mr Robinson’s case it’s hard to see that happening. Despite his expressions of regret, sorry “deep regret,” at the sentencing hearing, ever since his supporters have carried on a campaign of marches, demonstrations and internet activism which doesn’t seem to reflect that deep regret at all. Of course, it may be that Mr Robinson himself is sitting in his prison cell deeply regretting his actions and those of his various apparent spokespeople, but if his regret was of the profoundly deep type that occasionally influences the Court of Appeal it’s odd that he has not taken the step of telling them all to shut up. The closest we’ve got to that is someone calling herself his “PA” telling his supporters:

Tommy has requested that should any people go to the Appeal on the 10th July that they DO NOT go into the Court as his Legal team has advised against this. Please respect Tommy’s wishes.”

In a short video Ms Gower even  warned Tommy’s supporters “to cause no problems” and not to “livestream or take pictures on the court premises.”

Very sensible requests, and demonstrating an awareness that even an appeal court could be influenced by “problems” outside. But it still falls some way short of an expression of deep regret.

Well you’re just a leftard cuck, what do you know? As Ezra Levant says “Tommy’s got world class lawyers now,” not some provincial nobody like you. The worst that can happen is that he’ll lose his appeal.

I’m sure Tommy’s world class lawyers will have advised him that losing isn’t necessarily the worst that can happen.

The Court of Appeal has the power to reduce his sentence, certainly. But let’s just have a quick look at S.13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960, which, as you’ll remember, is the provision that gives Mr Robinson a right to appeal. Subsection (3) is the crucial bit:

The court to which an appeal is brought under this section may reverse or vary the order or decision of the court below, and make such other order as may be just ….”

The wording is slightly different from the corresponding subsection (S.11 (3), since you ask) in the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 which contains these words:

the Court shall so exercise their powers under this subsection that, taking the case as a whole, the appellant is not more severely dealt with on appeal than he was dealt with by the court below.”

This means that in an ordinary appeal the Court of Appeal can reduce, but cannot increase the sentence.

In practice, the Court of Appeal has got round the rule against making sentences more severe on appeal by directing, in completely unmeritorious cases, that some of the time served awaiting an appeal should not count towards the sentence. It has the practical effect of increasing the sentence and it is a power the Court has shown itself increasingly ready to use in recent years.

In an appeal, like Mr Robinson’s, under the 1960 Act, the Court of Appeal can “vary” Judge Marson’s order by making it more lenient, or by making it more severe. I’m not of course saying that that will happen, it would certainly be a highly unusual thing to do, but it is legally possible.

So you’re saying that the Court might actually increase his sentence?

Yes.

Sticking your neck out, do you think he’ll win his appeal?

I’m not a world-class lawyer, and I don’t know all the facts, and some of those I do know I can’t report anyway, but no. I think he’ll lose it.

 

 

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Author: Matthew

I have been a barrister for over 25 years, specialising in crime. You may also have come across some of my articles I have written on legal issues for The Times, Standpoint, Daily Telegraph or Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

128 thoughts on “Tommy Robinson’s appeal: will his world class legal team get him out of prison?”

    1. In the old days describing a sentence as “bullshit” would probably come close to “murmuring the judges,” but that rather quaint offence has been abolished.

          1. Matthew Why have you failed to mention the actual facts of the day in Leeds!? On which at least bail if not the case thrown out should happen on appeal day .

          2. I don’t really understand your comment, but there are still restrictions in force which prevent detailed reporting of the trial in Leeds.

    2. Can you point us to where we can find more information on this?

      And especially where in his 75 minute video from Leeds he “referred back to the Canterbury case dismissively. He at last admitted he had actually received a suspended sentence, but he described the outcome as “bullshit” and as an attempt to “deter” him from speaking out, rather than as a leniency for which he ought to have been thankful.”?

      Or perhaps you’re referring to what he said in the largely unreported* hearing he was sentenced at?!

      By the way, did you note the way he was very, very careful in all the bits of the video I’ve seen to comply with the conditions the judge outlined for the suspended sentence?!

      * That’s not to say his supposed address wasn’t reported, despite the fact the reporter knew he wouldn’t be at it to defend his family, and should have known they would be liable to be attacked if the address was publicised.

      Strangely, on finding they’d published the wrong address, the reporter and editor went on to blame Robinson for any harm that might befall the real occupants of the address.

      If it had been the right address they’d broadcast to the world, and Robinson’s wife and young children had been firebombed, say, and died screaming in agony, who would the reporter and editor have blamed then?!?!

  1. I’m torn on the crowdfunding issue. On the one hand, as Thrasymachus said, justice is the advantage of the stronger (read: richer), something I came to discover as a young man when a defamation lawyer wanted £700 + VAT to read a three-page letter. On the other hand, whilst being aware that Robinson’s offences are not criminal, my gut feeling about some crowdfunding efforts to fund a defence team is that they’re akin to generating ‘proceeds of crime’ (particularly where any surplus will be pocketed by the defendant or his/her family as profit). I say ‘some’, because some crowdfunding campaigns will be motivated by a principle of equal access to justice, whilst others are motivated by hysteria surrounding whatever it was that landed the defendant in the dock. In the case of the latter, we veer closer to mob justice; justice becomes not only the advantage of the stronger but also the advantage of those who have won the favour of the roused rabble.

    1. “Proceeds of crime”?

      “Profit”?!

      But Robinson, and more especially his wife and young family, have effectively been bankrupted by the authorities, and are in practice unable to hold down a normal job, due to the state’s activities, including trawling through every aspect of his and his wife’s finances and not just prosecuting, but jailing and fining him for “fraud”.

      MORTGAGE “fraud”!

      I wonder if Peter Mandelson got 18 months and a £125,000 fine for inflating his income and/or savings and/or deflating his outgoings to “defraud” a lender out of a bigger mortgage than he would otherwise have got?!

      I wonder how many policemen, lawyers, judges, or other politicians get investigated, never mind prosecuted, and get 18 months and a £125,000 fine for inflating his income and/or savings and/or deflating their outgoings to “defraud” a lender out of a bigger mortgage than they would otherwise have got?!

      In fact, I wonder how many or Robinson’s detractors have NEVER inflated their income and/or savings and/or deflated their outgoings to “defraud” a lender out of a bigger loan or to get a bigger borrowing limit than they would otherwise have got?!

      No one here, for example, ever borrowed from the bank of mum and dad, and pretended it was their savings when buying their first home?!

      Is it any wonder the rabble are roused?!?!

      1. I know right? How dare they prosecute Tommy and/or his family for breaking the law?! It’s unthinkable.

        P.S. I’ve never done any of those things you mention. Do I get a gold star?

        1. You were suspiciously quick to leap in and defend yourself, even though I hadn’t mentioned or referred to you!

          Guilty conscience?

          Why don’t you actually address the points I made?!

          That he was persecuted on a technicality which most home owners were probably guilty of to some extent when even well known cases aren’t!!!

          Why did the authorities trawl through all his, his wife’s, and possibly other relatives and supporters, lives to start with.

          And why, despite the fact that the only thing they could find was a victimless MORTGAGE “fraud”, which millions are “guilty” of without the police taking a blind bit of notice (but perhaps that’s because they were too busy ignoring mass child gang rape, torture and possibly even murder) did they pursue, prosecute and persecute him for it?!

          And why haven’t they pursued eg Mandleson, and the many others, that do the same thing?!

          By the way, how many mortgages have you taken out?!

          Don’t forget to pop back and confirm you’ve scrupulously presented your income, savings and outgoings when you buy your first property!

        2. Me2olive. Don’t you know it’s not appropriate to try and inject humour into replies like you have done?
          It drives the crazies up the wall, but only far enough to allow the jokes to still go waaaay over their heads…….hehehehe

          1. If “Me2” (ironic “thrust” at the child mass gang rape and torture victims, eh?) “Olive’s” (that would be Asian “olive”, “ho”, “ho”, pass me the sutures, my sides have just split!!!) “humour” had gone over anyone’s head it could only be because they slipped on the bile it was obviously delivered with!

            I note you, like “she” are incapable of actually constructing, never mind delivering, a logical and reasoned counter argument to what I said!

            Or even to defend what she said!!!

    1. That would imply there was ever going to be an appeal, and the entire charade wasn’t just a way to slurp up more money from Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s “adoring fans”

      At this stage, I won’t believe the appeal is authentic until I see the paperwork, or the case is actually heard.

      1. If true, it’s supposedly because the whole of the CPS and judiciary haven’t had enough weeks, and will probably need more months, to RE-present the CPS and judge’s prosecution case (which they probably had all morning and lunchtime to work on).

        While, strangely, Robinson’s court appointed barrister, new to Robinson’s “criminal” history, and the details of the case, and without a brief from Robinson’s solicitor (has it been established/revealed yet how and why s/he was sidetracked and sidelined by the court, prosecution and/or police, and so couldn’t show?!) and who was highly qualified and experienced, just not at all in Contempt of Court cases (and unless retiring or moving will have to work with same for the rest of his career) had mere minutes (seconds?!) to suitably prepare for the “case” (sentencing!) and give Robinson “suitable” legal advice on what to plead?!

  2. A helpful explanation.

    Thank you.

    I am curious to understand why you appear to have chosen (in almost all instances where you use the word) to spell ‘muslim’ with a lower case initial letter. Would you also write Islam (which has the same etymology) with a small ‘i’, and what about Christian, Buddhist etc.?

  3. My favourite part of all this is “Tommy”‘s spokesperson asking his supporters not to commit the same offence he did, as it might prejudice his case…
    #couldntmakeitup
    He makes The President of the United States look like a massively incompetent, criminal minded turd.
    oh, hang on,
    Trump did that himself, didn’t he.

    1. No previous prejudice there then, never mind built in bias!?!

      That’s a bit like arguing that it’s a bit suspect supporters of someone crushed by a tank on an anti-tyranny protest saying fellow supporters shouldn’t get themselves crushed too.

      The fact they don’t want anyone else suffering the same fate as Robinson did says nothing, or perhaps everything, about how he was treated!

    2. Actually, talking of #couldntmakeitup!!! and #massivelyincompetentcriminalmindedturds, oh hang em!

      Perhaps “Tommy”‘s (nearly forgot to add “founder of/former leader of the racist, fascist, islamophobic, LITERALLY Hitler, knuckledragging, Neanderthal, xenophobic, Little-Englander, homophobic, sexist, misogynist, anti-feminist, woman-hating, Trump-like, baby-bayonetting, BBQing and devouring [that’s enuf, Ed] EDL”, “aka lots of other ‘aliases'” – to protect himself, his home, and, more importantly, his family, from arson, rape and murder):

      Big mistake was spreading out his assaulting of a policeman’s arms with his neck, punching, sorry, headbutting, a real genuine Fascist Nazi Hitler in the face for refusing to leave an EDL march, breaching the (Swiss?!) law(?!) of desecrating an ISIS Terrorist flag, breaking (“US”, not “OUR”!) passport laws, oh, and copying probably most policemen, lawyers, judges and politicians by taking out a bigger mortgage than he was strictly entitled to:

      Over such a long period most “liberals” would insist, if he were a real criminal, on considering most of them spent convictions, and all of them actually society’s crimes against him, him being a poor, uneducated, working class, victim, errm , white boy, Ooops, that’s so mid 20th Century!

      Whereas today, to add to my listings of suspended sentence suspensions below:

      ….represented..man with previous convictions for assault, harassment, sending indecent messages and possession of a bladed article..sentenced on two separate indictments relating to incident-S that occurred following disputes with ex girlfriend-S.

      On the first indictment he was initially charged with Sexual Activity with a Child. The Indictment was amended to INCLUDE a charge of Perverting the Course of Justice when it was discovered that he had asked his ex girlfriend to send him a text message admitting that she had not been honest about her age at the time of sexual relations. The crown ACCEPTED a PLEA to Perverting the Course of Justice on the day of trial after a jury had been sworn and the sexual offences were NOT proceeded with, though the crown made it clear that it was NOT the case that they conceded that the text message was true, it was simply in the interests[?!] of justice[?!] to accept the plea.

      On the second indictment he pleaded GUILTY to Common Assault AND Dangerous Driving on the first day of trial. He ADMITTED attending the address of ANOTHER ex girlfriend to visit his daughter, an argument ensued and he ADMITTED throwing a punch AND a chair at his victim before then DRIVING HIS CAR AT HER in a DELIBERATE attempt to scare her. The manner of the driving included him mounting the curb and the victim’s front garden causing her fear that she would be run down.

      The Defendant ALSO fell to be REsentenced in relation to matters he had received a community penalty for AND which the Defendant in effect BREACHED by committing FURTHER offences during the CURRENCY of the supervision period of the order. In those matters the Defendant had…….. assaulted BOTH women AND then published indecent pictures of THEM on Facebook. He was ALSO stopped in the early hours of the morning a few days later outside one of the women’s address with a 12” KNIFE in his vehicle.

      ALL the matter before the court were committed within an 8 month period……. and but for this clutch of offending had kept out of any additional trouble.

      He was sentenced to a TOTAL of 18 months custody SUSPENDED for a period of 2 years. He was also made subject to a restraining order.

      BUT NOT IN A CELL, STRAIGHT-JACKET OR EVEN HANDCUFFS!

      IF ONLY “TOMMY” HAD AN EXPERT LAWYER FROM THOSE CHAMBERS HE’D BE HOME FREE!

      NO NONSENSE ABOUT THE LAW’S THE LAW, YOU PLEADED GUILTY, IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME-DON’T DO THE CRIME……….

      Especially if you’re LITERALLY *HITLER*!!!

      Yup, #couldntmakeitup

  4. Well, I am no world class legal expert but I do think Tommy Robinson has a very good chance of winning an appeal simply because the case itself has been so farcical. Less than 5 hours to arrest, try and sentence a man to 13 months in prison. The trial where he was convicted was 45 minutes shorter than the Livestream he made which is supposed to be the reason for his contempt charge. The judge could not have possibly reviewed much of it at all, in the 30 minutes he had Robinson in the court.

    Then there is the quote from the judge, “No one could possibly conclude that it would be anything other than highly prejudicial to the defendants’ in the trial.”, Well hello but all he actually did was video defendants that were already fully recognisable to the jury, identifying them certainly would not have prejudiced the case and had the defence motioned for a mistrial based on that it is hard to believe any judge in the land would have accepted it at that stage of the proceedings. The “prison bag” comments show it was, in fact, a sentencing trial, so where the jury even there at all? Or were they there simply to announce the verdict? Difficult to answer as for some unexplainable reason the transcript of the judgement has still not been released which happens to be a direct conflict to the practice directions set out for a contempt of court conviction in regards to open justice.

    The case was such a travesty of justice and I am surprised he was not out within 48 hours and now this story that his appeal has been cancelled, an appeal I certainly never saw listed for July 10th and have been unable to find any proof of it actually existing. I am actually beginning to wonder if Rebel Media wherever on Tommy Robinson’s side in the first place. I found it a little strange that his so-called college who was also filming on the day of the arrest because the camera was still rolling after the police removed Tommy’s phone, was broadcasting live from Canada the day after Tommy’s arrest and conviction. Where does Rebel Media originate from, oh yes, Canada?

    All in all, this certainly has been a rather unusual case.

    By the way, Contempt of Court is a criminal act, if it had been common law (like Breach of the Peace) it could not have been used as a breach of a suspended sentence.

      1. As in the Milly Dowler/Levi Bellfield case?!

        Where a couple of papers ACTUALLY PUBLISHED ACTUAL SO PREJUDICIAL INFORMATION IT WAS NOT ALLOWED TO BE PRESENTED TO THE JURY IN COURT?!?!

        And where the trial was ACTUALLY SO PREJUDICED the jury was ACTUALLY DISMISSED, the trial was ACTUALLY ABANDONED, and Bellfield was ACTUALLY LET OFF the outstanding charges?!?!?!

        Did the reporters get 13 months?!

        Ten months?!?!

        THREE months even?!?!

        No, they didn’t even get a single solitary day in prison!

        Nor the editors!!

        And the major international corporate bodies got a whopping, erm, £10,000 fine!!!

        That’s probably a lot less than Dacre’s annual lunch expenses (allegedly)!!!!

      2. How do you know they were still deliberating and even if they were, then they would not have even known about Tommy Robinson outside the court, so how could his actions have swayed them? It was evidently clear from the Livestream that the defendants were there expecting to be sentenced that day. So it is reasonable to believe that there was no further evidence for the jury to see, which does contradict what the judge actually stated.

        Do you not find it rather strange that a presiding judge dealing with a case so serious that the defendants could be looking at 20 year plus sentences, suddenly stops the case to deal with Tommy Robinson?

          1. It was a sentencing trial, if the jury were there, they were only there to deliver the verdict. Which begs the question of how could Tommy Robinson have possibly prejudiced that case.

            If you had endured the 1 hour 15 mins of the video, you would have noticed TR asking one of the defendants what he thought of the verdict. That video is surprisingly still on Youtube even though Judge Marson QC convicted a man to prison because he supposedly believed it would ‘Substantially’ impede or prejudice an ongoing case, obviously not to the extent that he demanded its removal, which he was fully entitled to do and I would say somewhat legally obliged to do, under the circumstances.

            I would say that alone is enough reason for an appeal, though for some strange reason his so-called expert legal team have not picked up on that either.

        1. [Edited]
          Stephen makes the point that a similar reporting restriction was imposed on a Newcastle case last year.

  5. “Since 25th May Mr Robinson, real name Steven Yaxley-Lennon, has been serving a sentence of 13 months imprisonment for contempt of court. The sentence is made up of a 3 month sentence passed for contempt of the Canterbury Crown Court in 2017, originally suspended but now activated, and a 10 month consecutive sentence imposed for a separate contempt”

    Can anyone advise what proportion of sentences that include a suspended sentence have the activated suspended sentence and “additional” sentence running consecutively as opposed to concurrently?

    Also, in general, how often sentences in the UK run consecutively rather than concurrently?!

    In fact, does anyone have to hand statistics, or can outline off the top of their heads, how many times “ordinary” criminals have (usually ignored?!) non custodial sentences, and then unactivated suspended sentences “imposed” before a suspended sentence finally leads to imprisonment?!?!

    1. I have no statistics for you off the top of my head, but I can assure you that when suspended sentences are activated they are almost always ordered to run consecutive to any new offence.

      1. So it’s only the cases that are sensationalised in the press where a thug who say, puts several people in hospital, rather than takes a swing at an off duty copy he’s in an altercation with, where they all seem to run concurrently?

        Phew, so that’s alright then!

        PS Silly question, I know, but just want to be 100% up to speed on this:

        Anyone got any stats on how often suspended sentences are activated when a perp is prosecuted?

        Is it 100%?!

      2. Yup, like this case:

        …had to use all of his experience and persuasive advocacy [yeah, right!] to ensure that his client did *NOT* receive a prison sentence after his breach of a suspended sentence order.

        ….charged with NINE offences. *FIVE* …committed whilst… subject to a suspended sentence order.

        The law is such that if an offence is committed during the lifetime of a suspended sentence a court must activate the suspended sentence. The only opportunity a person will have to avoid this is where it is successfully argued that it would be unjust to do so.

        It was perhaps the case that in the circumstances that the client found himself in, custody would seem inevitable. In the event, we managed to achieve for our client what at first seemed impossible.

        ….arrested in relation to a number of thefts from shops… client accepted each offence… pleaded guilty to all of the offences.

        …took all the information that he would need to provide the court with detailed personal mitigation. He took the time not to rush through this important part of the process, resisting pressure from the court for the case to be called on.

        …enough helpful information to allow him to argue that his client should not receive an immediate prison sentence but should be given a *FURTHER* [shouldn’t that be a FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER FURTHER] chance. This was a credible argument even though there was a breach of a suspended sentence order.

        Prison sentence avoided

        ……In conclusion he asked the Judge to decide that it would be unjust to impose the sentence for breach of a suspended sentence order.

        After listening to this mitigation the District Judge agreed with us. He decided to impose a sentence which allowed our client to *RETAIN* his freedom. …client was understandably delighted with the outcome and relieved to *NOT* face a custodial sentence.

        ie suspended sentence not activated

        And no prison sentence for the NINE new offences!

        ——-

        Then there’s:

        ….recently used all of his experience to identify a reason why it would be unjust for the Court to activate a Suspended Sentence Order. His job was made all the more difficult [yeah, riiiight!!!] as the new offence was an [admitted] assault on the *SAME* victim…. was successful in persuading the court that justice could be best served by his client receiving a further opportunity.

        ……The breach had to be marked so the operational period of the original suspended sentence order was extended by two months.

        —–

        …client had been arrested in relation to *TWO* allegations of common assault… partner who had been with him left the public house. Unfortunately she had taken an item of sentimental value belonging to the pub landlord. As a result the landlord understandably followed her and retrieved the item. Meanwhile our client remained at the pub….

        ….our client punched the male to the face and a small scuffle began.

        …lashed out again, punching another male to the face

        Offence in breach of a suspended sentence

        When charged and before the court our client accepted that he was guilty of the charges. He entered guilty pleas. Unfortunately, these offences were committed in breach of a suspended sentence imposed THREE *WEEKS* previously.

        As a result, the court would immediately consider that the suspended sentence ought to be activated [yeahhhh, riiiiiiight!!!!!]. A separate sentence would be imposed for the new offences. The likelihood was that this would happen at the first appearance and without reports being prepared…….

        Unjust to activate the suspended sentence

        …..After listening to this extensive mitigation the Magistrates agreed that the suspended sentence should not be activated. Instead they imposed a community order with a stand alone curfew for 12 weeks.

        Following the breach of a suspended sentence the court extended the operational period by 6 months.

        Our client was relieved *NOT* to face a prison sentence….

        ——

        Man spared custody following breach of suspended sentence

        …Defendant was handed the suspended sentence by… Crown Court, but unfortunately breach[ed] that order SEVEN *DAYS* LATER by ASSAULTING a *POLICE* officer.

        …he pleaded guilty to the assault…

        The Judge informed the Defendant that he should be under no illusions [hahahahahahahaha]: the normal course of action [hohohohohohohohhohoh] would be to activate the suspended sentence. He was, however, persuaded by Counsel’s submissions [surprise, surprise!!!!!!]…..

        He then sentenced the Defendant to a 12 month Community Order of 40 hours unpaid work in respect of the assault and allowed the Suspended Sentence Order to continue.

        ——-

        A MAN who bought a stolen bike after being given a suspended sentence has a chance to stay out of jail – despite having been told he would go to prison if he breached the order…..

        ——

        Etc, etc, etc….

        As someone above commented:

        #couldntmakeitup!!!

        1. By the way, does anyone (other than Matthew) know if:

          “He then sentenced the Defendant to a 12 month Community Order of 40 hours unpaid work in respect of the assault and allowed the Suspended Sentence Order to continue.”

          Really means “40 hours unpaid work” over “a 12 month Community Order”?!

          Or does it really mean 40 hours per week, or maybe just a month?!?!

          I hope it means 40 hours per week, but fear it really does mean 48 minutes a week (allowing for a couple of weeks holiday!)!!!

      1. As opposed to every other crime, especially those involving breach(es) of suspended custodial sentence conditions, especially those where the client, sorry, defendant, sorry, victim of society, was told (further) breach(es) of the order(s) WOULD mean IMMEDIATE jail.

        Whereas further breaches seem to lead to NO ACTIVATION of the suspended sentence, and NO PUNISHMENT for FURTHER crimes.

        Never mind concurrent, never mind consecutive, never mind cumulative, prison terms!

        As my numerous examples demonstrate!!

        (I’d have said “prove” but that would sound a bit too legal!!!)

  6. Must have watched a different video to me, he said alleged all the time with no leers
    Isnt he appealing the length of time of the sentence, not his guilt so needing a different legal team would be right for an appeal

  7. So why was the live stream still on YouTube? Straight afterward pre the jury returning their decision?

    1. Indeed

      And isn’t there another (more prejudicial, allegedly?!) video also on line, but that’s only had over 50,000 views?!

      And one from last year possibly from a linked hearing (and more prejudicial still, allegedly, but, again, “only” 50,000 plus views).

      Puts:

      “So did Tommy break the reporting restrictions?”

      “He may have done, but his contempts of court went further than that. He published videos on his You Tube channel in which he made prejudicial comments about ongoing cases before verdicts had been delivered.”

      Into perspective!

  8. “I’m not of course saying that that will happen, it would certainly be a highly unusual thing to do, but it is legally possible.”

    Keeping my fingers crossed then.

  9. >> “I can see the reason for that, but the press isn’t allowed to report any of these trials? How ridiculous is that?”

    > ‘It’s not ridiculous at all. It’s to protect the fairness of the trials. Where there are two trials with an overlap of evidence, defendants or witnesses between them, evidence which is admissible in one trial may be inadmissible in another. Sometimes even the fact that a person has been on trial in the first case is liable to prejudice the jury in the second one. Sometimes there may be more than two linked trials, when the matter becomes still more complicated and unpredictable.’

    Phew, imagine how complicated it must get in a SINGLE “linked” trial then?

    Trying to prevent the jurors from hearing evidence about defendants B, C, D, E, and F when considering defendant A.

    Trying to prevent the jurors from hearing evidence about defendants A, C, D, E, and F when considering defendant B……..

    Nightmare!?!?!?!

  10. “The principal difference between a fair trial and mob justice is that the former is conducted according to rules….”

    Example 2: Extent of the power to grant injunctions

    “Defendant X has been arrested and charged with offences of misconduct in public office. He is due to stand trial in the Crown Court in a month’s time. His lawyers ask the judge due to preside over his trial to issue an injunction prohibiting any further reporting of the allegations against him, until the trial is over. The judge is able to grant such an injunction, since the proceedings against X are active, and the injunction can cover all prejudicial reporting, and is not limited to the reporting of court proceedings.”

    Nothing to do with the fact he or she is a social worker, policeman, councillor, barrister, MP or judge then!

    Especially if they were involved in a hairdressing, manicure and pedicure, (I said PEDICURE, NOT Paediatrician!) scandal then!!

    Chance would be a fine thing!!!

    “Defendant Y is under investigation for murder and believes his arrest is imminent. A number of lurid articles are published in the press regarding Y’s allegedly violent lifestyle. Y is unable to seek injunctive relief from the criminal courts to prevent such reporting, because the proceedings against him are not yet active until he is in fact arrested.”

    Nothing to do with the fact he’s “TommY Robinson” then?

    Or the fact he’s the murder victim?!

    So THAT’S what they’ve got lined up for him next!!!

    Example 3: The current system for section 4(2) orders

    “D, a celebrity, is on trial for an offence of fraud. He committed an offence of violence in his youth. At trial, in the absence of the jury, an application is made by the prosecution to adduce that fact in evidence. This application is heard in open court with the defendant and the public present but the jury absent. The judge decides that the previous offence is not relevant and therefore that the jury should not hear about it. The judge imposes a section 4(2) order to the effect that until the end of the present trial no report shall be made of D having this previous conviction. This is, exceptionally, necessary to prevent a substantial risk of prejudice, given the high profile nature of the trial, and the correspondingly high probability that the case will be widely reported in a way which might come to the attention of the jury.”

    “The order is made on paper and stuck to the court door.”

    Was Robinson used in EVERY example in that report?!

    Strange that every childhood indiscretion is STILL dragged up by everyone?!?!

    And do you (not the Royal you, the mob rabble you) still have to check the court door for details?!

  11. I found your post very interesting and illuminating. I had no idea that there was so much conspiracy theory narrative about this case. I should probably get out (on the internet) more.
    Obviously it is really important that everyone- even fascist racists – have fair and transparent legal processes and your blog has helped to explain the way in which the law works in cases such as this

    1. “conspiracy theory narrative…. I should probably get out (on the internet) more…. fascist racists”

      So you know, personally, he’s a fascist racist, it’s not something you’ve picked up from conspiracy theories on the interweb?!

      By the way, I’ve been dying to find someone who’d know the answer to ask:

      What do the people who call people like Robinson a fascist racist label Hitler?!

      Or do you all think that he LITERALLY *IS* HITLER?!?!

      1. Do you LITERALLY mean LITERALLY?
        Obviously, Hitler was the charismatic leader of a fascist, racist government and this within the historical context of the German people feeling humiliated after the settlement of WWI. Hitler had absolute power to develop horrendous policies against Jews, Gay people, Travellers snd any other group who ‘offended’ a pure race policy. This gave him an ‘advantage’ over Tommy, as although Tommy shares a history of dysfunction and petty criminality; he seems to lack the charisma and (thank goodness) the power.
        Walks like a duck, sounds like a duck…

        1. So you DO think Robinson LITERALLY *IS* HITLER!!!

          You just think he never had the same opportunities!?!?!?!

          1. Since a direct quote would be ‘evidence’, George in his roundabout, silent sort of way says “sorry, no can do!”

            *evidence.

            A construct of the privileged white male patriarchy designed to ‘oppress’ people of different cultures into the outdated, misogynistic, fascist and racist notion that one should, as a rule, be able to substantiate ones opinions with the facts that informed them.

            Note: * = impending sarcasm.

            Next week, cognitive dissonance and how it makes people like George stop talking for over a month.

  12. “Well, what did Tommy say about it?”

    “Mr Robinson was represented by counsel. He does not appear to have disputed that he was in contempt, but he pleaded ignorance of the law – mitigation, of course, rather than a defence – and through counsel apologised for his behaviour.”

    “Let me guess, he had some rubbish duty solicitor who didn’t know the law?”

    I’m not particularly familiar with the preceeding case.

    Did anyone, anywhere, ever ask that?!

    Has anyone, anywhere, including Robinson, ever denied he was in the wrong in that case?

    In fact, didn’t he go to great lengths to follow the judges instructions and conditions in the “current” case?!

    So is that a straw man, red herring, or both?!

    1. “He urged on Her Honour that his client had been a little ‘naïve’. The judge said she found that ‘rather difficult to accept that at face value’,”

      I would have thought that the majority of the public, if told that filming “in court” was banned, would assume that meant in the court ROOM, not the court HOUSE!

      After all, if you’re summoned to court, you turned up, placed one foot on the court YARD, and went home, you could hardly plead that you had, in fact, turned up “in court” as directed, could you?!

        1. Apologies!

          “He urged on Her Honour that his client had been a little ‘naïve’. The judge said she found that ‘rather difficult to accept that at face value’,”

          I would have thought that the majority of the public, if told that filming “in court” was banned, would assume that meant in the court ROOM, not the court HOUSE!

          After all, if you’re summoned to court, you turned up, placed one foot on the court “PRECINCT”, and went home, you could hardly plead that you had, in fact, turned up “in court” as directed, could you?!

          Please, please let the next answer be:

          The law says “building”.

  13. “OK, that was Canterbury, what did he do wrong in Leeds?”

    “Almost a year to the day after getting the suspended sentence in Canterbury Mr Robinson turned up at Leeds Crown Court towards the end of a similar trial. He shouted at defendants as they were going into court, asking if they had their prison bags ready. He commented unfavourably on the defendants’ demeanour after he bated them. He read out a list of charges”

    [live then, and still live? on the BBC and other websites?!]

    “which he said that the defendants were facing, although it seems he included allegations that were not in fact proceeded with.”

    [which are STILL on the BBC and other websites?!]

    “He called a passer-by a ‘scumbag.'”

    [Was that the – white – Virtue Signalling – Social Justice Warrior – guy who had a go at him first, saying the rape of hundreds of under age girls were no concern of either of them?!?!]

    “From time to time”

    [ie before every charge, except one where he forgot to put it in front, and put it after the charge]

    “and he threw in the word ‘alleged’, although generally with a leer,”

    [Really?! Does the Barrister Blogger moonlight as the Secret Barrister?!]

    [Edited]

    Allegedly!!!

  14. “Yeah, but the SecretBarrister’s not a bigot is s/he?”

    “Well, we’re getting a bit distracted here because the question of his or her bigotry is rather beside the point.”

    “Isn’t s/he entitled to his or her free speech, even if it’s bigotted?

    “Normally I would be happy to defend his or her right to free speech, however unpleasant, but all this was live on the interweb for over a month (so far), and… it might be seen by ‘millions’. His or her bigotry – if that is what it was – is neither here nor there. The point is that it was capable of intimidating members of the public, and prejudicing jurors and the public against Robinson who will be being defended in court in an appeal, hopefully.”

    “It is unpleasant, menacing and inflammatory, and more rather than less unsettling because of the cheerful-briefie/ess manner in which it’s delivered; but of course what made it criminal is that Mr Robinson was known to be in the middle of a major judicial controversy…..”

        1. It was the preface in her book that gave it away. I did buy, enjoy and recommend the book but she, like Matthew here, seem to have lost the ability of reasoned debate and that is probably down to some deluded belief that they are always right. I do find that rather strange in a profession where you know you will obviously get proven wrong on occasion and ironically if that is a misconception from the belief that you only need to know the law, then that attitude will only speed up the replacement of those working within law, with artificial intelligence counterparts, who will undoubtedly do things much quicker and less expensive. I wonder what would have been the outcome for Tommy Robinson had he been in front of an AI Judge?

          1. “…..it is usual for the jurors to decide the fact, and to refer the law arising on it to the decision of the judges. But this division of the subject lies with their discretion only. And if the question relate to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both law and fact.”

            – Thomas Jefferson, “Notes on Virginia,” 1782
            .

            “…the great principle of Habeas Corpus and Trial by Jury…are the supreme protection invented by the British people for ordinary individuals against the state. The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments.”

            – Winston Churchill 1943
            .

            “His Lordship may tell you that to his heart’s content. As a great Lord Chief Justice of England, a judge superior in rank to any in this Court, once said, “It is the duty of the Judge to tell you as a jury what to do, but you have the power to do exactly as you like.” And what you do, Members of the Jury, is a matter entirely between God and your own consciences….”

            – Horace Rumpole 1998

    1. To be fair to Secret Barrister, his first hatchet piece on Robinson was much the same as what appeared in the Daily Mail and other papers.

      1. Secret Barrister is a woman who believes her opinion is superior to others, which does actually make her a bigot. A likeable bigot but a bigot still the same…

        Her rush to push out yet another blog on the appeal is also premature due to the fact the judges are deliberating and because she has such a high profile, it could unduly influence their decision. I know it should not because judges only interpret and apply the law but I think her latest blog should have waited. Pleased to see BlindBlogger did not follow suit on that…

  15. “But Tommy was sentenced just 5 hours after he was arrested? How could that be fair?”

    “He admitted the offence. When an offence is admitted, in English law there isn’t a trial. He had plenty of time to instruct a lawyer and to give him instructions.”

    Wot, ROBINSON instructed THE LAWYER on what to advise him with respect to his plea?!

    And wasn’t the 5 hours from when he was dragged off the street to when he was dragged off to gaol?!

    “The procedure the judge followed appears to have been entirely consistent with the Criminal Procedure Rules. All things being equal, especially where the facts are not in dispute, swift justice is better than slow justice.”

    Isn’t there also lots, and lots, and lots of stuff about open justice, open courts, public interest, transparency, contemporary reporting, safeguards against judicial arbitrariness or idiosyncrasy, maintaining public confidence in justice, all evidence communicated to the court being communicated publicly, publication to a wider public, human rights and fundamental freedoms, imparting information without interference by public authority, scrutiny and the glare of contemporaneous publicity – full contemporaneous reporting of criminal trials in progress, not convicting of contempt unless sure that publication has created substantial risk of that serious effect on the course of justice to a criminal burden and standard of proof, etc, etc, etc……

    How much, if any, of that, was considered in issuing the order, never mind the rest of the report, or at least two sets of guidelines?!

    One of which refers to postponed publication equating to stale news being no news doesn’t it?!

    1. According to Rebel Media’s Help Save Tommy Robinson site (Update, 22 Jun), John Carson, Director of Carson Kaye, the law firm acting for Tommy said

      We can confirm that those representing Stephen Lennon have lodged an appeal against sentence, together with an application for bail pending appeal. We are working towards a court hearing at the earliest possible date, and hope for a listing imminently.

      Given that you seem to take the view that the case against Tommy’s conviction is weak, I’d be interesting to hear why you think his legal team is only appealing against sentence and not conviction?

      1. Of course, I meant to say

        “Given that you seem to take the view that the case against Tommy’s conviction is strong“!!!

  16. It is not that we are in contempt of court, but that the court is held in contempt, by us. Leveson is supposedly not taking the 10th July appeal as “he hasn’t had enough time”. Tricky one for plod as folks such as myself, who hate Islamophobia are firm free speech advocates.

  17. “But he had a useless lawyer, right?”

    “Wrong.”

    “He had Matthew Harding, a Leeds barrister with over 15 years experience at the criminal bar. He is exactly the sort of barrister you would get if you were charged with rape, drug dealing or GBH. He’s not useless at all.”

    Well, “He’s not useless at all” “if you were charged with rape, drug dealing or GBH”.

    However, it would appear “he had a useless lawyer” as he was charged with contempt of court, which isn’t even brought in as a poor fourth to Harding’s string of specialities!

    And how many of those “over 15 years experience at the criminal bar” were in Leeds (and how many of his next 15, 20, 25… years experience will be in Leeds, and maybe in front of the same Judge?!

    “If he’s so good, why didn’t he fight the case then? He could have called witnesses, cross-examined the police and argued Tommy’s right to free speech?”

    “He could have done all those things, and no doubt would have done some of them, if Mr Robinson had instructed him to contest the allegation. But he didn’t. He admitted he was guilty.”

    ON WHOSE ADVICE?!

    “He could hardly argue about the facts of what he’d done: the evidence was all over You Tube.”

    IS THAT WHAT HARDING TOLD HIM?!?!

    “Even so, he could have argued:”

    “That it wasn’t a contempt of court because it posed no danger of prejudicing the jury in the trial;”

    DID HARDING TELL HIM THAT?!?!?!

    “That his behaviour might have prejudiced the trial, but his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights should take priority over the defendants’ Article 6 right to a fair trial.”

    OR THAT?!?!?!?!

    OH, NO:

    “Very sensibly, because both arguments are rubbish, he did neither.”

    Are they?

    Aren’t they discussed at length in the report on reporting restriction?!

    I don’t recall the word “rubbish” coming up in the discussions!

    And lots of commentary about the importance of free speech, unrestricted reporting, weighing that with possible prejudice…..

    “He no doubt expected to get a lighter sentence if he fessed up and said he was sorry. I daresay he was right.”

    Was he told he’d just get the 3 months and a short concurrent sentence if he “fessed up”?!

    Or even that, due to the effects on his wife and kids, his attempts to comply exactly with the judges directions in the suspended sentence, the fact the court wasn’t even going to bother having the video taken off the internet…….

    Like in the examples I quoted earlier the judge would decide it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence or impose any other one, and he would be released as his solicitor had supposedly been advised?!?!?!

    1. It’s a fair point that Tommy’s instructions to Harding were presumably based on Harding’s advice to Tommy.

      However, it does seem that there’s a similarity between the views taken by Harding and by Tommy’s current legal team of Carson Kaye.

      Harding presumably advised Tommy to plead guilty i.e. not to contest the charge of contempt. Likewise it would appear that Carson Kaye are not appealing Tommy’s conviction for contempt, merely appealling the sentence he was given for his contempt. That is, it would seem that both Harding and Carson Kaye take the view that Tommy was guilty of contempt.

      1. From what little I’ve read of the report and guidelines on reporting restrictions, especially postponements, the legal profession in general and judges in particular, seem to take a somewhat, shall we say, cavalier, attitude to what the law actually provides for.

        Perhaps the new legal team think they would be wasting their time trying to appeal the conviction, especially if they can, as in all the examples I’ve given, give enough mitigation to get Robinson off Scott-free, with maybe a couple of months added to the duration of the suspension order and a couple of weeks community service over the next year or so?!

  18. Take heed of Martin Niemöller’s words.

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

      1. Serial offenders?!

        Does he pour Stella on his cornflakes?!?!

        Check out the details and see if you can honestly say there are none that aren’t in some way suspect!!!

        Jeopardised?!

        Was the trial abandoned?!

        Jury dismissed?!?!

        ANY possibility of EITHER?!?!?!

        Actions actually in breach of the letter, never mind spirit, of the law?!?!?!?!

        See my comment on the Milly Dowler case for a bit of perspective!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Here’s a thought. Maybe if “Tommy” (not his real name, as you know) had cared about his wife and children, he wouldn’t have broken the law in the first place. But then, he has a long criminal record.

    1. Well, he cared about his sister, or was it only his cousin, long before wife or children came along!

      Who was a VERY young victim of “Peking Pedicurists” (I said PEDICURISTS!)!!

      And perhaps he doesn’t want the same fate to befall his children (or wife)!!!

      I wonder, do you perhaps work in a Pedicurist establishment?!?!

  20. Mr B J Mann, to quote Mark Twain:
    “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    1. And when he put pen to paper he could construct a pretty convincing case!

      You seem to have taken his advice to heart, no doubt with good reason!!!

  21. Serious supporters and commentators agree that TR has unknowingly & technicaly committed a crime. Why did not the judge instruct the police to move him on straight away, rather than wait for an hour and then send him to prison for over a year. The whole concept of him prejudicing the case is a misnomer in reality. The appeals judge is prejudiced as he has already found TR guilty on a R4 programme which has been broadcast and is still available. Finally, what is prison for? He has committed a technical crime. He is not a danger to the public nor does not need to be rehabilitated. Maybe the world class lawyers will dwell on these points. TR has not issued deep regret publicly because I don’t believe he is sorry. In fact, he wil come out of prison even more committed and have a much bigger following than before and be a bigger force against the Islamification of the UK. It’s just another chapter in a long story. But he will take care not to get ‘stung ‘ again. He should have researched the protection order first and not gone near the place. TR is an amatuet journalist. He should have stayed with his employer Rebel as he needs some shelter and protection himself. Anyway, thank you for an informative article.

    1. Especially as, allegedly, the length of the video, all 75 minutes plus of it, was reflected in the length of the sentence, although the judge only watched the first few minutes (and the rest could have been him wishing a list of friends and relatives a happy birthday for all the judge knew)!

      AND it’s STILL on the Internet!

  22. I don’t think you’re really considering how Americans across the pond view this kind of thing. Make fun of our justice system all you want. But we have a little something called the First Amendment. And we bayoneted the empires finest men to get it. But punishing people who are trying to unmask pedophiles is pretty bad Optics. Most American police officers, and DA’s would congratulate such activity. And treat with kid gloves any brutal beating, or straight-up murder against such evil. And the vast majority of the American public would agree with that decision and support it.
    Nevermind what speech restrictions we do have in the United States. Are either never enforced or flagrantly disregarded. And like the rest of the world. There are always a few brave people like Tommy Robinson, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning. Who will break the law ro stand up for what is right.

    Tommy was trying tell the British public about the pedophiles in their midst. And the hundreds victims that may have been left behind. Exposing a government and the police service all too willing to cover it up. That is why Tommy is sitting in a prison cell right now.

    More brave britons are going to get arrested for this. You are sovereign and can exercise your laws however you wish. But you see, YouTube is an American company. And as long as we stay on American soil we can tell your pedophile loving judges to eat their fancy wigs. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

    1. Where did you get this information Joshua? The use of the words ‘I understand’ usually implies speculative information forms the basis of reasoning.
      Thanks for your help

    1. You clearly, as with apparently TWO THIRDS of the UK population, get not only your news, but your VIEWS, not just from the MSM, but from the BBC, in its many and varied forms, from TV to magazines and websites, to its “documentaties” (aka propaganda) and “dramas”/”soaps” (aka indoctrination/brainwashing).

      Here’s one of the few times the BBC nearly allowed (though that clearly wasn’t their intention in setting up the hit piece “interview”, which has all the hallmarks of the ILLiberal Lobsterotomised PC Right-On Trendy-Lefty female “interviewer” style) Robinson to get a word in edgeways:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=c81Vu1b2L84

      And here’s a commentary on an interview with Robinson by an ILLiberal Lobsterotomised PC Right-On Trendy-Lefty guilt-tripping virtue-signalling white-male “interviewer”:

      By one of my duskier brethren:

      Or as you would probably call him, a Coconut Oreo Uncle Tom House-Slave or even House-N…..:

      1. In fact, here’s the interview with Piers Stefan (who’s never fallen off a Segway, met Jimmy Savile, been involved in – Muslim – inflammatory fake news Abu Ghraib torture scandal photos, or associated with dodgy share dealings, never mind any phone hacking, or calling Ewan McGregor a “paedophile-loving hypocrite”, or been involved in a punch-up, or any other controversy or hypocrisy, honest, and especially not any embargo-busting) O’Meara Pughe-Morgan (educated at a former Secondary-Modern Comprehensive, except for his independent school primary education and former grammar school sixth form education – you had to have watch it):

        https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5c5_1497971884

  23. Question ive not yet seen answered: Had this reporting been done by the editor of a newspaper (i.e. The Times) would they have been treated the same way? Ive seen from Private Eye that newspapers have crossed the line on a number of occasions but I don’t think its led to prison sentencing?

    1. It has quite often led to fines, but as far as I know it’s never involved the deliberate repetition of behaviour in respect of which a suspended sentence has been imposed.

      1. It has quite often led to fines

        Do you think it’s fair/just/consistent that newspapers have been punished with fines for contempt whereas Tommy Robinson was punished for his first contempt offence with a sentence, albeit a suspended one?

  24. I would like to lend my support to Tommy. Having experience of authority abuse of myself and my children, I can only say a prayer and hope that the prison in which Tommy is held comply with there duty of care for him and keep him safe while in there care..
    Good luck Tommy. The issue of child abuse while in the care of the local authoritys across the country is our national sham and Tommy is being brave enough to highlight the issue.
    I am not a politically minded person, however given the secret way our people in power operate, I am very concerned thing’s will only get worse.
    Gary

    1. This is nothing to do with the state oppressing anyone or abusers being protected and certainly nothing to do with brave Tommy Robinson sticking up for the abused. He wasn’t doing that, if anything he was using them to further his own agenda. His actions in both cases did nothing to protect the victims or promote proper justice. Indeed if anything his action may have prejudiced the case against the abusers and led to them being either set free or causing a mistrial, prolonging the whole sorry episode for the wronged and abused children. Is that what we want? Do we want their suffering to be prolonged and justice put at risk because one man has his own political agenda?

      1. Well that is only your wrong assumption of his motives and you are also wrong in saying his actions could have jeopardised the case, it was at sentencing stage and no judge would have accepted such a motion from the defence but the best wrong assumption has to be his political agenda, he happens to be apolitical.

        I found taking Tommy Robinson out of the equation altogether and looking at the case using ‘Mr X’ an unknown entity gives a far more balanced view of the case. If the judge had truly believed the Livestream could have substantially impeded or prejudiced an ongoing trial, he would have ordered its removal immediately and yet it is still there for all to see.

  25. I’ve read some but not all of the comments posted here and I understand that people who support Tommy Robinson may feel upset or even outraged at his treatment. However, the substantive facts of the case speak for themselves. Admitted contempt of court given a reasonable 18 suspended sentence. One year later does similar thing, admits the offence and sent to jail. He had good representation both times. Has good representation . He could have appealed his original suspended sentence if he’d so wished, but didn’t. He is allowed to appeal his second conviction and sentence but his world class “thinking out of the box” lawyers are only appealing the sentence. Which is odd, because if he had received substandard representation on the day, surely that would be grounds for a full appeal.
    I defend his right to free speech, but his right to free speech does not extend to the point where other people’s rights are trampled. Our courts must be able to fullfil their role properly and avoid injustice and convict people when they are guilty without threat of mistrial. Anything he had to say could have been said later.

    1. Perhaps you could compare and contrast the reasonable treatment of Robinson with that of the reporters, editors, and even publishers in my comment of:

      July 4, 2018 at 3:19 pm:

      “As in the Milly Dowler/Levi Bellfield case………..?!”

      In addition if “other people’s rights are trampled. Our courts must be able to fullfil their role properly and avoid injustice and convict people when they are guilty without threat of mistrial”

      Perhaps you could also comment on the fact the judge and police watched him doing it for 75 minutes before stopping him livestreaming.

      And didn’t make him take the video down after they stopped further filming?!

    2. When Tommy Robinson was first convicted for Contempt of Court he pleaded guilty because he was unaware that filming anywhere on the court property was contempt but admitted he had done so, ignorance of the law being no defence. In the Marson case, he was meticulous in his actions to ensure that he did not step on court property. He even checked with police present at the court to ensure he was not doing anything illegal as he openly admitted he had concerns about his suspended sentence.

      So what did he actually do in his Livestream that could have jeopardised the case? He filmed defendants that he recognised from earlier trials of this case and avoided anyone he was not sure about, those he filmed were already fully recognisable to the jury so that would not have swayed them in any way at all. He read out the charges of the defendants, from public information that was freely available before the reporting restrictions had been put in place if any of those charges had been changed he was not to know because of those reporting restrictions. So those using the argument that he falsely accused them is incorrect as they were originally accused of those crimes, that information was released by the BBC.

      Unlike Judge Marson and those who are quick to condemn him for his actions I endured the one hour, fifteen minutes and I saw nothing in his Livestream that could have warranted that 13-month conviction. The transcript of the judgement should have been available on the judiciary website within hours of the conviction and still today it is not to be seen. So ignoring the fact it was Tommy Robinson and looking at the case from a Mr X viewpoint, I saw Mr X falsely arrested on a breach of the peace offence, later charged with contempt that he did not commit, sentenced to prison without proper examination of the evidence (the offending video) and then the practice directions of a contempt of court conviction, totally ignored. The fact that it happened to be Tommy Robinson is totally irrelevant, due process has not been followed IMHO.

  26. Having watched Tommy’s live stream video, I believed that he was on the street outside the court in which was a judge passing down the sentences. The trial was over and those reported by the BBC (the list from which Tommy quoted) had all been tried and found guilty. No jury was involved just someone to tell this slime what their sentences were. So who were the jury Tommy could have “influenced”? Having not seen elsewhere what the sentences were, can we assume that a cover-up is now in process owing to their mildness and lack of deportation orders? With a muslim run home office and Crown Prosecution Service, what chance have any muslim rape gang reporters like Tommy got of not being silenced?

  27. ” The Judge who sent him to prison, Geoffery Marson QC, was at the time presiding over a trial involving allegations against a number of defendants”.
    Surely the Judge should have recused himself from trying/sentencing TR?

    1. Alexander Hutton, that is not how judges deal with the people who commit contempt of the judge’s own court. No requirement at all for the judge to recuse himself.
      It was his court to run as he sees fit and it is his court that Tommy has held in contempt.

  28. Thank you Matthew. This will save a lot of time for mere mortals like me when the Niagara torrents of twaddle begin as the Appeal nears. Shared to Facebook. To be fair I read your blog and don’t always agree with what you say, but I can’t disagree with your analysis in the Tommy Robinson case.

  29. As someone who watched the whole video I can say you have some of the facts completely wrong and or glossed over the key points. You seem to be selecting some things and ignoring others. I’m concerned by many aspects of this matter because it appears to be an attack on free speech.
    I actually only watched it all the way through and frankly it was quite boring stuff because he had nothing to do outside Court so mostly chatted on about previous trials/ cases and tried to asked members of the public for their thoughts – half wanted selfies half told him to F off.
    He did not say anything prejudicial from what I could see and actually knew very little about the specifics of the case itself only reading online news reports from other outlets (i.e. previously published material).
    The conduct of the defendants;
    1. At the start of the video he collared two of the defendants going into Court. He was being very cheeky but not threatening – asking as you say if they had ‘packed their bags’ etc. This is just good reporting similar to the time Michael Crick got kicked out of the Tory party conference for asking annoying cheeky questions.
    2. They responded with threats of violence!
    a. Firstly Tommy did not threaten them or their families just asked questions…. Since when has asking questions been an offence ? – oh yes in every vile totalitarian dictatorship, ever …. Stazi, nazis etc etc
    b. Secondly it appears that if you are a rapist who is also Muslim it’s OK to threaten someone’s mother with violence in public on camera and the Police will do nothing – this is an offence but they have not been charged with it. I’m disgusted with the Police for this.
    3. Tommy was entitled to ask them anything he wanted frankly as any member of the public if free to do. For example remember the Soham murders with the public outside court screaming and shouting at the accused …. This is something the public have always been allowed to do in this country so why is this changed?
    Their vile demeanour showing no remorse was not what bothered me because frankly what would you expect from rapist scum (I think we can all agree rapists are scum)
    4. What appalled me was seeing the defendants turning up FREE entering the Court not arriving on remand in cuffs or accompanied by Prison Officers.
    a. We would never have known they were roaming free if it was not for Tommy because the mainstream media were not there with cameras doing their jobs!
    b. As a woman it made me sick to my stomach just knowing they had been our and about free to commit more crime and threaten and intimidate witnesses and vulnerable victims, I was truly horrified.
    c. I personally found this very, very frightening, so much so that upon seeing this that I, a law-abiding citizen who has never committed any crime of any kind, tried to by a gun on the internet. Just seeing that the Police felt no need to protect the general public form mass gang-rapists was really distressing ….
    On reviewing the video I have further reasons to suspect the charges were trumped up
    5. I sat on jury service last year and on of the cases I got was for domestic violence (as three separate consecutive assaults).
    a. The defendant in had been on remand of a year – so in my personal experience an indigenous person he had been locked up before a case ‘for the safety of the victim’ but…
    b. Apparently if the defendants are accused of multiple gang assaults they can walk freely around providing they are Muslim?
    c. In this instance Tommy was the only member of the press highlighting this scary and unfair situation and overt favouritism by the authorities for Muslim defendants.
    6. I wish Tommy made more if this point, after being very shocked I really wanted to know how these defendants could possibly be walking around, did they plead some religious grounds?, how did they get away with it? some really clear good reporting is needed on this point because it’s very frightening!
    Rest of video
    7. After that part wandered around videoing on a public street for over an hour in the end.
    8. This is something ANY member of the public is free to do including you or me if we had time and wanted too.
    9. He definitely did not go onto Court premises at any time – even checking with Court staff where the boundary was.
    10. Being arrested for filming in the street is gross violation of freedom of speech anyone is allowed to film in the street its public property owned in common by all citizens.
    11. Not allowing filming in the street is fascism pure and simple (Michael Moore has done multiple various videos on this)
    The charges revolve around the possibility that he might somehow influence the jury by wandering about live streaming and the assertion that there was some pre-existing order in place preventing reporting by the press;
    12. A mentioned I sat on jury service and so I also know that
    a. the jury enter the Court through a special side door that no one is allowed near. This was so we could avoid bumping into barristers, defendants, victims, witnesses etc. We were told to report it immediately if anyone approached us at all and there was CCTV etc.
    b. When we were in session, even for the very minor cases I was one we were told not to watch news / the internet etc when outside and they took our mobile phones iPads etc so we could not access any outside internet etc
    c. Therefore there is no way Tommy filming outside the court could possibly have been seen by or influenced a juror – it’s not possible if the jury was being properly managed.
    d. Like everyone who has ever done jury service I KNOW that he cannot have influenced the jury its just not physically possible.
    e. This means his charges are a massive red-herring and totally jumped up clearly because of who he is not what he was doing.
    Phantom reporting ban
    13. I actually went and looked to see if I could find an order banning press reporting this case because several other outlets reported before Tommy made his video.
    a. I could find no proof anywhere of an order pre-existing Tommy’s videoing – there was one put on the net two days later but of course no member of the press having a time machine they could not have known about it!
    b. Since other members of the press started reporting immediately when the Jury retired (which is the normal practice in the UK) this strongy indicates that they were unaware of the existence of this ‘phantom’ order either.
    c. Based on this one can only conclude that there either was no pre-existing order OR it was not publicly avlable.
    d. Obviously if there was an order then the BBC and Leeds Live journalists who reported on the matter along with their editors ought also to go to prison for a commensurate amount of time. The fact that they are not in jail also indicates Tommy is being singled out because of who he is not what he did.
    e. As a member of the public I would be a lot happier if they all went to jail equally then I would feel the law was being equitable.
    There are a lot of points in your summary I would like to pick you up on but I don’t have time and so just went over the key issues. You seem to be one of those people trying to justify this after the event buying into the twisty excuses of the authorities instead of looking at the events in the timeline they happened.
    Final thought
    Had Tommy not been arrested I would not have watched his video report and would not have been made aware of the horrific injustice being purported by the legal system against indigenous victims in favour of Muslim perpetrators. His arrest made me look directly at this issue and now I’m a believer – so if the elites idea was to supress the truth through locking up the messenger its really backfired.
    As far as I am concerned Tommy Robinsons a national hero

  30. It’s not apparent to me how Tommy Robinson’s actions fell within the prohibitions of the law on contempt of court, specifically that they created a risk of prejudice to the trial. Leaving aside the point well made above, that the verdict had already been given and so there was no longer a trial to prejudice, let’s look at the author’s account of what Mr Robinson did.

    – He shouted at defendants as they were going into court, asking if they had their prison bags ready.
    That has no persuasive bearing on the evidence considered by the jury, nor does it introduce new evidence that isn’t admissible.

    – He commented unfavourably on the defendants’ demeanour after he bated them.
    Again, this doesn’t alter the evidence being considered by the jury. Prosecution advocates and witnesses often comment unfavourably on the demeanour of defendants during trials.

    – He read out a list of charges which he said that the defendants were facing, although it seems he included allegations that were not in fact proceeded with.
    Surely the jury was already well aware of the charges during the trial.

    – He called a passer-by a “scumbag.”
    That’s nothing to do with the trial.

    – From time to time he threw in the word “alleged,” although generally with a leer, as though the very notion that a defendant might be innocent was too absurd to be taken seriously.
    Again, this doesn’t alter or add to the evidence considered by the jury in the trial. Prosecution advocates and witnesses assert the defendants’ guilt in all trials.

    The arrival of the defendants at court is something anyone, including jury members, could see: it’s in a public place. Trials are supposed to be public too. There’s a public gallery in every courtroom. The identities of those on trial were already known to the jury, so Mr Robinson filming them and naming them doesn’t add to what the jury already knows.

    Perhaps some of you legally trained folk would be good enough to explain what I’ve overlooked.

  31. Are you seriously suggesting that Tommy Robinson with a phone saying ‘look at these paedo Muslims’ would influence a jury or anyone with logical faculties? What damning evidence did Robinson bring to persuade them?

  32. It appears to me that the appeal against the Canterbury suspended conviction is out of time and may well be deemed without merit. Without the benefit of the full transcript of the trial covered by the latest contempt ruling and the submissions, it is impossible to give any external independent assessment. In any event, procedural fairness goes to the heart of English Law which inspired the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. Even unpopular and unpleasant views enjoy protection guaranteed by ancient civil liberties and the rule of law. In addition, sentences must be proportionate. House-arrest, community service and/or blocking all internet access in combination with supervision by a social worker should have been considered as more effective alternative sentencing options. It would be dangerous to democracy and the rule of law if the defendant’s sentence was higher than sentences imposed on defendants who cause harm or even death (due to dangerous driving or driving intoxicated, or robbers, or violent repeat offenders). Senior judges will restore proportionality and protect the reputation of Britain’s world class judicial system and ancient civil liberties.

  33. Perhaps my comment is a little off subject. I have a lot of sympathy for Tommy, mainly caused by my anger at the Police Officers, Social Workers and politicians both local and national who it appears were aware of appalling sex crimes against little girls for years. On one occasion police officers arrested two fathers who tried to rescue their daughters, another police arrested and charged a 13 year old for drunk and disorder when she was found half naked in a bed in a house with 5 men, no enquiry as to what the men were doing. As far as I am aware not one official who looked the other way or indeed aided the rape of hundreds if not thousands of little girls has been brought to justice. Perhaps you could explain why. It is beyond my understanding unless due to corruption. Thanks in anticipation.

    1. John Robinson, have you heard about the report by Alexis Jay into the Rotherham sexual exploitation cases?
      Have you read it?
      How do you know what happened to those two fathers in particular, what is the source of your information?

  34. The fact that the judgement transcript of the Tommy Robinson conviction still is not on the judiciary website is proof enough that judicial procedure has not been followed, the practice directions for a contempt of court conviction in an open court are without exception.

    https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/practice-direction-committals-for-contempt.pdf

    Interesting reading back through the comments on this blog now that not only did they appeal the conviction of the Leeds case they are also appealing the conviction of the Canterbury one as well.

    However, I do think the Canterbury case was valid because he did film whilst on court property and that is clearly contempt of court. I am also somewhat surprised that there seems to be no mention of the practice directions being ignored, which I believe is an important issue.

  35. RE: “No, it’s not even slightly unusual. The crime for which someone is prosecuted often bears no resemblance to what they were originally arrested for.”

    Your entire article reeks of being a hit job, but I’ll just deal with this one little gem of intellectual dishonesty. Yes, it is somewhat common to arrest someone for one offense and then actually proceed with another (like in your ripper example). If you arrest someone for a drug violation and then you find a dead body in their car, of course you aren’t going to worry any more about the traffic violation. Or if you arrest someone for a multitude of similar offenses, you might decide to proceed with the one that’s the most straightforward to ensure conviction or simplify the prosecution.

    That’s not what we have here. The arresting offense of “breach of peace” was absolutely bogus. There was no breach of peace and this was obviously just a tool used to bring Tommy in. There would be no way to prosecute for “breach of peace” (the video makes this clear) hence the arrest is obviously a sham, ie. politically motivated, ie. the narrative of crime and fair punishment is nonsense.

  36. How does it feel to have an opinion proven to be utterly impotent? Your little codes and cases relied upon like viagra and it all failed. Bravo douchebag. You allowed your schooling to castrate a possible education. Although I feel eugenics is an abhorrent solution, bar members (british accreditation registry) are complicit in allowing sharia courts to gain legitimacy in England which is an act of treason. Good Day barrister

  37. LOLOLOL

    Well now, that certainly didnt age well!

    Not just thinking about Tommy winning the appeal in a resounding way, but also the scorching, humiliating takedown of the original verdict, that the Lord Justice delivered.

    Perhaps your take and opinion on the case has been coloured by politics and your own prejudice?

  38. I have just two facts about this case at present which are bothersome, based on prior “experience”. This is not a legal analysis, but thoughts that are pertinent, to me. I’ve been an attorney/barrister for 35 years, and although I would not be considered “high powered”, I am more of a strategist. This is obviously just my opinion, to add to the mix.
    1. He has admitted that he was guilty of contempt as cited in the Decision of the Court of Appeal, and
    2. This proceeding will be taking place in the infamous Old Bailey Courthouse. Many of the political prisoners of the The Troubles were tried there as well. I believe that this Court will follow the Rules of Procedure, but is a different legal animal.
    Note: There is no NI political agenda being promulgated here.

    1. Diane after 35 years in the job I would have thought you would read a judgement before commenting on it. Lord Burnett clearly stated in his judgement that at no time was Tommy Robinson given the opportunity to either admit or deny the charge against him. As the mystery judgement of Marson QC was never released as it should have been, I can only presume that strict liability was used which would mean that TR would need to be guilty of ‘Substantially’ impeding or prejudicing an ongoing trial and having scrutinised the Livestream that is clearly not the case. I very much doubt anyone would have a problem getting TR acquitted at the next trial if that trial ever actually takes place, it is certainly not in the public interest to pursue this matter further IMHO.

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