A supporter of Tommy Robinson in the foreground poses for a photo as Stand Up to Racism demonstrators protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. A British court has ordered prominent far-right activist Tommy Robinson to be released on bail while he appeals a finding of contempt of court. Robinson had been jailed for 13 months after live-streaming outside a criminal trial in violation of reporting restrictions. Court. (John Stillwell/PA via AP)

UK appeals court orders far-right activist Robinson released

August 01, 2018 - 9:37 am

LONDON (AP) — U.K. judges on Wednesday granted far-right activist Tommy Robinson conditional bail while he appeals a finding of contempt of court for live-streaming outside a criminal trial in violation of reporting restrictions.

Robinson's supporters cheered after Court of Appeal Judge Ian Burnett and two other judges ordered a fresh hearing. The self-styled journalist and commentator who has issued a steady stream of anti-Muslim statements online was jailed outside Leeds Crown Court in May after using social media to broadcast details of a trial that was subject to blanket reporting restrictions.

The court had ordered that no reporting of the trial was allowed until another trial linked to it had concluded.

Robinson was jailed for 13 months within five hours after posting the video. The court ruled that jailing Robinson so promptly "gave rise to unfairness," and that the "haste" with which the case was dealt with meant his lawyers weren't given enough time to prepare.

Robinson, 35, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is the founder of the now-defunct English Defence League. His supporters alleged he was jailed so quickly because of his far-right political beliefs.

At a hearing in July, Robinson's attorney, Jeremy Dein, argued that "insufficient" regard had been given to resolving the situation.

"We maintain it is of particular importance that, right from the outset, the appellant, albeit in a very stressful and difficult situation, offered to have the live stream taken down and contact people who could do so," he said.

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