Far-right British political activist Tommy Robinson was sentenced Thursday after a London court found him guilty of violating a reporting ban on an ongoing trial, CNN reported Thursday.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was convicted of live-streaming video of defendants in an ongoing criminal trial in 2018, per CNN. Due to the nature of the case, a judge ordered a reporting ban on the case until the jury reached a verdict. Robinson claimed he had only streamed information already available to the public, per a Thursday report from The Guardian.
CNN reported that before his sentencing, Robinson posted a video to conservative conspiracy website Infowars, begging U.S. President Donald Trump for political asylum in the United States.
Robinson was previously sentenced to 10 months in jail, per The Guardian, but appealed that sentence. The maximum sentence for being convicted of contempt of court is two years, The Hill reported.
In speaking for the court, Dame Victoria Sharp handed down Robinson’s sentence.
“He has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression,” Sharp said. “This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt.”
The Guardian reported that Robinson, who wore a shirt reading “convicted of journalism” on his way into court Thursday, flashed a “V” sign to his supporters, signaling that he believed his sentence to be a victory.
wow, brave truth telling from 'Tommy Robinson' here pic.twitter.com/n2GFBZdBxh
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) July 11, 2019
While some on the far-right have praised Robinson as a “martyr,” others have taken to social media to express content with the far-right activist’s sentence.
Piers Morgan, former CNN host and current co-anchor of “Good Morning Britain,” took to Twitter to refute those who believe Robinson to be a hero.
No, let's be clear: Tommy Robinson has been jailed for a serious contempt of court that very nearly wrecked a trial involving abuse of young girls.
He's not a 'hero', he's an idiot. https://t.co/yjnNgHlatz
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 11, 2019
Mikey Smith, a political reporter for UK-based Daily Mirror tweeted a video of what reportedly shows police getting involved after Robinson supporters began to “attack” BBC broadcasters outside Robinson’s sentencing.
Police move in as ‘Tommy Robinson’ supporters attack BBC broadcasters on college green. Chants of “We want our country back” pic.twitter.com/CaZszLxqVl
— Mikey Smith (@mikeysmith) July 11, 2019
The Guardian reports that three people were arrested outside the sentencing.
Robinson is a founder of the English Defense League (EDL), a far-right group known for provocative marches in Muslim neighborhoods, according to The Guardian. Robinson, who led EDL from its founding in 2009 to 2013, is permanently banned from using Twitter. The Hill reports Robinson was also permanently banned from Facebook in February after the company said he posted anti-Muslim videos that violated Facebook policy.
The far-right political activist ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in European Parliament earlier this year, per The Guardian. Robinson will only serve about ten weeks of the nine-month sentence.