Updated: Tommy Robinson granted bail

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Breaking news from friends at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Confirmed by the Biased Broadcasting Company via an  apparatchik tweet

Stephen Lennon, known as Tommy Robinson is released on bail as there were flaws in the committal for contempt at the Crown Court Leeds That is to be retried at the Central Criminal Court Old Bailey at a future date. The committal to prison for 3 months from Crown Court Canterbury is upheld, but he has now served that shorter, earlier term of the consecutive sentences. 

We don’t yet know his bail conditions; they may be stern. 

The national newspapers are issuing headlines as if Tommy has won totally and the matter is completely dismissed. Either they are ignorant of legal procedure and the exact judgment (quite likely – standards of journalism are exceeding low these days) or they are trying to mislead the public for some nefarious purpose (also quite likely.)

Update at noon – bail conditions are the perfectly reasonable ‘not to go within 400 yards of the Crown Court at Leeds’. As his family home is 100 miles away in Bedfordshire that isn’t draconian. 

Update at 1.30pm

I have had sight of the judgment handed down from the Court of Appeal this morning. It’s a PDF so I’m not sure I can link it but it is in the public domain. The following is an extract to sumarise. 

R v Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson)
On appeal from the Crown Court sitting at Canterbury and Leeds
Judges: The Lord Chief Justice, the Rt Hon The Lord Burnett of Maldon; The Hon Mr Justice Turner;
The Hon Mrs Justice McGowan DBE.

JUDGMENT
The judgment of the Court is to dismiss the appeal in respect of the committal for contempt at Canterbury Crown Court and to allow the appeal in respect of the committal for contempt at Leeds Crown Court. The appellant is granted bail and the matter of contempt at Leeds Crown Court is remitted to be heard again.
The records are updated to address errors of form at the courts below.

REASONS FOR THE JUDGMENT
Canterbury ….

There was no merit in the underlying proposed appeal. Time would not be extended. The court directs that the record be updated to use the language of committal and not criminal sentencing

Leeds

The court agrees that the judge should not have commenced the hearing of contempt proceedings that day. Once the appellant had removed the video from Facebook, there was no longer sufficient urgency to justify immediate proceedings. In those circumstances it would have been preferable to adjourn . . .

No particulars of the contempt were formulated or put to the appellant. . . .there was reference to matters that could not been a breach of the section 4(2) order.

The failure to follow Part 48 Crim PR was more than technical. There was no clarity about what the appellant was admitting or on what basis he was being sentenced. Finally, further difficulties arose from the limited opportunity that counsel had to investigate mitigation . . . The level of detail which could be provided to the court was very limited and there was no opportunity to obtain character references…

Where a custodial term of considerable length is being imposed, it should not usually occur so quickly after the conduct which is complained of ; a sentence of committal to immediate custody had been pronounced within five hours of the conduct taking place. 

The order at Leeds Crown Court was also erroneously drawn up to suggest the appellant had been convicted of a criminal offence rather than having been committed for contempt of court. Errors like this have serious consequences upon the classification of prisoners, resulting in the deprivation of privileges and release
on licence. In this case, it also resulted in the erroneous imposition of a victim surcharge.
The finding of contempt in Leeds is quashed. All consequential orders fall away. The court remits the matter of alleged contempt at Leeds Crown Court to be heard again before a different judge. The appellant is granted conditional bail pending the rehearing. 

Video here – times have changed that some hearings are videoed. 

3 Responses

  1. This was welcome news to wake up to. The powerful English judiciary has responded to the outrage of the people. The actions of the judge at Leeds are immensely questionable, deserving of an independent investigation on their own. I’ve read that the appeal judges referred to “faults” in the original trial, not to “technical faults.” If this is correct, did the BBC insert this descriptor, and if so, why?

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