TOMMY ROBINSON supporters rioted on the streets of London yesterday, setting fire to European Union flags and throwing bottles and cans at police as the English Defence League founder was jailed for nine months for contempt of court.
Robinson — real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon — was branded a liar by the judge as his supporters set off smoke bombs outside the Old Bailey before marching on the Houses of Parliament.
Robinson, 36, arrived at court in ripped jeans and a T-shirt, flanked by 44-year-old far-right commentator Katie Hopkins. The pair were later seen chatting together.
Judge Dame Victoria Sharp told him the time he previously spent behind bars for broadcasting footage of members of an Asian sex gang during their trial in Leeds in 2018 would be taken into account, reducing his sentence to 19 weeks — of which he will serve half.
Robinson, whose sentence was made up of six months for the Leeds contempt, plus three months for an earlier contempt committed at Canterbury crown court in 2017, looked at the public gallery and winked as he was led to the cells.
Outside, his supporters booed as news of his sentence filtered through. Police put on riot helmets as violent clashes erupted. The crowd marched towards the court chanting ‘we want Tommy out’ and ‘paedo protectors’ before they began pelting officers.
Robinson’s account on Telegram, which he uses after having his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles suspended, said: ‘Sentenced to prison for journalism. Time for protests to start, this is an absolute joke! Protest outside whatever prison I’m in on Saturday please.’
A prison van believed to contain Robinson — who has 11 previous convictions for offences including violent crime, public order and fraud — later left the court to cheers from supporters, with several shouting ‘We love you, Tommy!’