British far-right activist Tommy Robinson was sentenced again to prison Thursday after being found in contempt of court, sparking clashes between police and his supporters in London.
Judges last week convicted Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, for broadcasting footage outside of a courthouse in Leeds in May 2018. Those images, according to Reuters, had revealed the identities of defendants accused of sexually exploiting young girls, while jurors were still weighing the outcome of their case.
“By aggressively confronting and filming some of the defendants in that case as they arrived at court, he interfered with the course of justice,” the British Attorney General’s Office said a statement announcing the 9-month sentence Thursday.
“He also approached defendants and told his followers to ‘harass them,’” it added, noting that the broadcast “contained information in breach of reporting restrictions.”
The office said Robinson was sentenced to six months in prison for that incident and a further three months for a previous contempt.
Robinson was read the sentence Thursday at a courthouse in London and news of it angered his supporters gathered outside.
The crowd, booing and chanting “we want Tommy out”, started pelting police officers with bottles and cans, the BBC reported.
Robinson, who founded the English Defense League organization, was originally sentenced last year to 13 months in jail after broadcasting the Leeds footage, but was released two months into the term following a successful appeal.
The case then was referred to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox in May of this year after High Court judges approved his request to bring fresh proceedings against Robinson, citing public interest, Sky News reported.
Judge Victoria Sharp reportedly told Robinson on Thursday that previous time he has spent in prison would be taken into account for his new sentence – cutting it down to 19 weeks. He would serve half before being released, the BBC reported.
His lawyer has about a month to appeal the latest sentencing.