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.
Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate
The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.
Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.
The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.
During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.
Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege
Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.
Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.
Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.
Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report
Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.
"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.