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Tommy Robinson contempt of court case adjourned

Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson arrives at the Old Bailey Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

A fresh contempt of court case against far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been adjourned by a judge at the Old Bailey.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, 35, was greeted by cheers from more than 100 people gathered outside court, who had earlier chanted his name.

Protesters from a smaller counter-demonstration carried placards saying “oppose Tommy Robinson”.

Robinson was ushered into court amid a large police presence as photographers and cameramen jostled for position.

Asked if he was feeling confident, Robinson told the Press Association: “Yeah, quietly.”

Tommy Robinson court case Credit: David Mirzoeff

The Recorder of London Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC adjourned the case, saying he would receive written submissions before making a ruling on whether there will be a substantive hearing at a later date.

Tommy Robinson, wearing jeans, black trainers, and a grey checked jacket sat behind his barrister Richard Furlong in court.

He was referred to by his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, throughout the brief hearing.

Robinson was released from prison last month after three leading judges quashed a finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May, and granted him conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence.

Robinson, whose case is listed under his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is alleged to have committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.

He could face being sent back to jail if the is found to have been in contempt, with the maximum sentence is two years imprisonment.

Robinson was jailed in May after filming people involved in a criminal trial and broadcasting the footage on social media, and has already served the equivalent of a four-month sentence.

He was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for contempt of court, which he admitted, and a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.

In May last year he faced contempt proceedings over footage he filmed during the trial of four men who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.

Tommy Robinson court case Credit: David Mirzoeff

A judge at Canterbury Crown Court gave him a three-month suspended sentence and told him his punishment was not about “freedom of speech or freedom of the press” but about “justice and ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly”.

Robinson appealed against both contempt findings at a hearing last month heard by Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Mr Justice Turner and Mrs Justice McGowan.

They found the judge at Leeds should not have commenced contempt proceedings that day.

Lord Burnett said “no particulars of the contempt were formulated or put to the appellant”, and there was “a muddle over the nature of the contempt being considered”.

He added: “Where a custodial term of considerable length is being imposed, it should not usually occur so quickly after the conduct which is complained of; a sentence of committal to immediate custody had been pronounced within five hours of the conduct taking place.”

The judges dismissed Robinson’s appeal in respect of the contempt finding at Canterbury Crown Court.