The inability of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, to keep away from trouble has surfaced once more during another of those incidents that happen outside court precincts that he was supposed to be avoiding. This time, the alleged free speech campaigner - that’s free speech as in free for him, and not for Scary Muslims (tm) - was visiting Leeds, where he fell foul of the law (again).
Lennon’s Facebook page has told the world “BREAKING: Tommy has been arrested outside the court for ‘incitement/breach of the peace’ mid livestream while waiting for the verdict on a grooming gang trial. He is currently in custody and we are contacting his solicitor. Updates to follow”. The video is as predictable as it is hilarious.
“I’m being arrested … can you get me a solicitor” he pleaded, before being told he was being arrested on suspicion of causing a breach of the peace. At this point, he demanded “What does that mean?” as if he didn’t know full well what it meant. There was more. “I’m inciting people? How am I inciting people? This is free speech. This is where we’re at. We’re not even allowed to. Look at it”. Then he goaded the cops.
“Do you feel right that you’re doing it? I haven’t said a word. In fact someone laid a hand and assaulted me outside court. Other people swore at me and threatened me about my mother and here I am being arrested for saying nothing. I’ve done nothing. George, get me a solicitor … I’m on a suspended sentence, you see”. Yes, we do indeed see.
As Far Right Watch has noted, “He's currently on a suspended sentence for the same offense. He could well go down for this”. Well, incitement and breach of the peace are not what he was arrested for last year, after he was caught filming within the precincts of Canterbury Crown Court, but go down for it he certainly could.
When Lennon came up before Judge Heather Norton, this is what she had to say about his “free speech” schtick, and his behaviour. “This is not about free speech or freedom of the press, legitimate journalism or political correctness. This is about justice. It is about being innocent until proven guilty … I find clear evidence of contempt. I take a dim view of your actions. If you commit further offences this sentence will be activated”.
Note “If you commit further offences” - so the clear inference is that any other offence will cause that sentence to be activated. Lennon was given three months’ jail, suspended for 18 months. He has only just passed the two-thirds mark. So any further conviction, whatever sentence is passed, means he goes to jail for the Canterbury incident.
And as the Judge said last year, it’s not about free speech. It’s about Stephen Lennon’s little Wild West Show, which has been allowed to go on for long enough, finally being brought to an end. He could, of course, find a more mainstream way of advancing his career, but the appetite for publicity and adulation has got the better of him.
The media career of Stephen Lennon was for a time, but not for all time.