British far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson was jailed for contempt of court on Thursday, having live-streamed a confrontation with defendants in a criminal trial that was subject to reporting restrictions.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to nine months in jail, minus the time he has already spent in prison, reducing his term to 19 weeks, of which he will serve half before being released.
“Nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified,” judge Victoria Sharp said at the Old Bailey in London, England’s central criminal court.
“The respondent cannot be given credit for pleading guilty. He has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression.”
Sharp and fellow judge Mark Warby last Friday found Robinson had acted in contempt when broadcasting footage of defendants arriving at Leeds Crown Court in northern England in May 2018.
He live-streamed footage of men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls, while the jury in the second of a series of linked grooming trials was considering its verdicts.
Reporting restrictions postponed the publication of any details until the end of all the cases, in a bid to ensure all defendants received a fair trial.
Robinson, 36, denied any wrongdoing, saying he did not believe he was breaching any reporting restrictions and had only referred to information that was already in the public domain.
Robinson was jailed for 13 months in May 2018 after being found in contempt of court on the day of the broadcast.
He served 10 weeks in prison before being freed after the original finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August.
But the case was then referred back to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who announced in March that it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against Robinson.
“Posting material online that breaches reporting restrictions or risks prejudicing legal proceedings has consequences,” Cox said Thursday after the sentencing.
“I would urge everyone to think carefully about whether their social media posts could amount to contempt of court.”
Scores of Robinson’s supporters had gathered outside the court on Thursday, chanting his name and waving flags. He entered the building wearing a t-shirt saying “convicted of journalism”.
Robinson has 28 days to appeal against his conviction.
UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report
Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.
The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.
But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.
‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys
In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.
"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.
The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.
"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors
A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.
"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.