Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson found in contempt of court

The English Defence League founder could be hit with a two-year jail sentence

epa07697385 (FILE) - Former leader of the far-right English Defence League, Tommy Robinson (C) arrives for a court appearance at the Old Bailey in London, Britain, 04 July 2019. Media reports on 05 July 2019 state that Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been found in contempt of court for his Facebook Live broadcast of defendants in a criminal trial at the Central Criminal Court, The Old Bailey, in Central London, on 05 July 2019. He was found guilty of interfering with the trial of a sexual grooming gang at Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.  EPA/NEIL HALL

Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson faces up to two years in jail after being found in contempt of court by the High Court in England. He was found guilty of filming and then sharing footage of defendants facing sexual exploitation charges arriving in court. He denied the charges.

Robinson, also known at Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found to have “aggressively” confronted the defendants and to have breached reporting restrictions.

"In our judgement his conduct amounted to a serious interference with the administration of justice,” High Court judges said in their rulings.

Richard Furlong, representing Robinson, said he was facing the charges “because of who he is” and his political opinions.

The Facebook livestream on May 25 last year lasted 90 minutes and was viewed 250,000 times. Robinson was originally jailed for 13 months after being found in contempt of court but his sentence was overturned after two months by the Court of Appeal in August 2018.

However, the Attorney General said in March that proceedings would recommence because they were in the public interest.

A founder of the far-right English Defence League – although he has since left – Robinson has attracted repeated controversy for his outspoken views against Muslims.

Robinson stood as an independent candidate to become a member of the European Parliament for north-west England in May but was not elected.

He is expected to be sentenced in the coming weeks.