Rather quieter of late, but still out there somewhere, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has been mulling his upcoming appearance at the Old Bailey, on Thursday next week, on contempt of court charges. Gone is the cocksure demeanour of recent times: instead, a more serious note has been struck. Perhaps Lennon realises that there is a significant chance that he will be sent to prison.
But he and his lawyers have a plan. A cunning plan. A plan so cunning that he has decided to tell the world, and therefore those representing the Crown next Thursday, all about it, just in case they hadn’t got all the angles covered and the meat van booked to take him off to the kind of hotel run on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
Here’s what he has to say about his team’s tactics. “The … charge, that I breached Section 4 reporting restrictions, you will be shown evidence, in court, that the court did not follow any of the procedures they have to follow. The Judge made a reporting restriction, but at no point was it put into the court system. Which means it was never put on the court door, never put on the court system - all the places where I would have gone to look”.
So he’s going to try and get that charge thrown out - Crown lawyers take note. Also, his team will cite a Law Commission report as another way of getting that charge thrown out, as he went on to explain. “The Law Commission made a six-month investigation into Contempt of Court laws in 2014. I’m using this paper [my emphasis]”. Do go on.
“In their study, they said that Contempt of Court laws are unfair on the public … it’s an open book for mistakes and errors … they advised, at the end of their … investigation, they gave one recommendation … [to] provide a national website - the Attorney General was asked to provide a national website - that all reporting restrictions will go on to, so people can check. They didn’t do that”. Crown lawyers take note once more.
Could he make the Crown even more prepared? He certainly could. “Another law, everybody needs to understand, which I’ll be citing in my court case [my emphasis], the Judge has no power to put reporting restrictions on information that’s already in the public domain. He can’t do it”. So what is Lennon’s conclusion?
“Tommy Robinson, not guilty, 4th of July, at the Old Bailey … if we had a just and fair system, that would be the result. If I was getting tried by 12 members of the British public, that would be the result. What we find out on the 4th of July is if we have a corrupt legal system”. So that’s the Cambridgeshire Police excuse wheeled out in advance this time.
What Lennon has not done is to dispute the claim that he was in Contempt of Court. It seems his defence will rest on trying to have the charge thrown out by claiming that the Leeds case did not follow proper procedure, and/or that the Judge exceeded his powers.
That’s not merely a high risk strategy, it’s a last ditch one. There will be the usual gathering outside the Bailey, with Lennon’s team putting up a stage and screen to show his get-out video. Some of his fans will show up. But it will not sway the court one inch.
Stephen Lennon is having to take his trial seriously. Because it could be serious.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at