During the week, Peterbogough Crown Court has been hearing a case brought against Cambridgeshire Police by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. He has sued the force for harassment as a result of their dispersing a group of Luton fans and ensuring they headed back to the railway station after a match against Cambridge. Lennon had his children with him and they became upset at the Police presence.
The trial has also been notable for the presence - at Lennon’s own invitation - of Ezra Levant from Rebel Media, who proceeded to live-Tweet proceedings in such a way as to earn him two rebukes from the trial judge, Her Honour Judge Walden-Smith. Levant was also bawled out by the Judge for intimidating a Police witness, and later claimed that, rather than this showing his ignorance, it was all about freedom of speech.
It was expected that, as final submissions by both the Police lawyer and Lennon’s representative had only been completed this morning, that the Judge would not be in a position to give judgment until Monday. However, HHJ Walden-Smith told the court before it adjourned for lunch that she would give her judgment this afternoon. That suggested making her judgment would not prove a particularly lengthy task.
Lennon claimed that his views on Islam caused him to be singled out. The Judge, however, pointed out “Mr Lennon was not in Cambridge for the espousal of his public views”. She also noted the Bronze Commander for match Policing “said the risk of disorder was the highest due to the historical understanding of the two teams … The briefing given by … [heard] the match was given a C rating, the highest, given that historical behaviour”.
“At 5.30pm there was a disturbance. A group of Luton risk supporters were being escorted back to the bus station. On their way they came into contact with a group of Cambridge supporters. She says the groups were kept apart but exchanged jeers”. The Bronze Commander issued a Section 34 notice. Then came bad news for Lennon.
The Judge asserted “The fact that Mr Lennon had been identified by PC Mason as a known Luton Town risk nominal, but Insp Johnson [the Bronze Commander] had not assessed him a risk before and after the [game], it is clear evidence that Cambridge police were not targeting Mr Lennon”. She also concluded “I am satisfied [Lennon’s] children were not [with him] in the public house but on the green”.
The Bronza Commander “made the determination the [Luton Town] supporters had to drink up and leave at 6.30pm. If they didn’t do so they could be dispersed using a section 35 … Mr Lennon’s complaint was that he had done nothing wrong and that he didn’t need to be moved on, that he was being singled out and moved on because of who he is … That is not in my judgement is the case”. And more bad news for Lennon.
“I am satisfied that Mr Lennon did appoint himself as a spokesman for the group [of Luton Town fans in the pub] … And when Mr Lennon said he was with his children, Sgt Street makes the obvious comment - where are they? The children were not with him and when told to leave the pub he did not move on”. And the cops following Lennon as he left?
“The uniformed officers were perfectly entitled to follow Mr Lennon at that time. In my judgement it was proper operational procedure to stop Mr Lennon from re-entering the pub … The letter by lawyers from Mr Lennon did not mention his daughter running out into a bus … I am satisfied Mr Lennon’s daughter did not run into the road … There was no reason for the police to continue to follow him and there is no evidence that they did follow him further”. Lennon’s claims not cutting much mustard here.
And so to the judgment, which showed that, for Lennon, this was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage. The Judge put it plainly. “Mr Lennon claims his human rights have been infringed. The allegation that Cambridgeshire police deliberately targeted him in my judgement must necessarily fail”. There was more.
“Mr Lennon, when asked in cross-examination, accepted he was not being prevented from providing his views, no officer mentioned his views on Islam and that there was no hint on the day about his views on Islam … It maybe [Lennon] and his followers think his views are greater to the community than they are. There is no evidence for the inequality claim, and it fails … In my judgement there is no evidence, relying on the evidence Mr Lennon gave himself, there had been a breach of [his human rights]”.
As to the harassment claim, “I cannot accept that the complaint made by Mr Lennon, which what happened on the 27th of August, satsifies that it was on two occasions. This was one event. It started upstairs of the pub and continued outside to the end of Regent Terrace … This claim for harassment in my judgement must fail”.
Lastly, “That leaves Mr Lennon’s [claim] that his right to a family life has been infringed. The EU convention art 8 has been engaged with … I find that Mr Lennon has not made out his case on the grounds he has put forward”.
Lennon has LOST his claims for discrimination, harassment, and right to a family life. Despite being told that he could not address the court except through his counsel, he proceeded to do so and told everyone that it was an unfair judgment.
Stephen Lennon has just sprayed tens of thousands of pounds up the wall on a pointless lawsuit. This one may be the first of many.
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