Usually, no publicity is bad publicity for Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. Even bad news can be spun to show his followers how the rotten MSM and the even worse establishment are ganging up on him, helping those appeals to generate yet more money. But one recent event has not received much exposure from Lennon’s fans, and that may be because things are, once again, not going his way.
The Great Man attended a hearing last Friday at Luton Magistrates’ Court - a football banning order hearing. This has followed from his recent trip to Portugal to attend a match in the town of Guimarães, and an altercation before play had even started. It was serious enough that “Bedfordshire Police are working with the UK Football Policing Unit in an attempt to hand Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a football banning order to prevent him attending both home and away matches”.
As Zelo Street observed at the time, “When England played the Netherlands in a Nations Cup match in the northern Portuguese town of Guimarães yesterday, it was on the back of two nights of bad behaviour by so-called fans in nearby Porto, where the Praça de Liberdade saw bottles thrown at home fans, Police goaded, car windows broken and abusive chanting”. But, as Lennon observed, there was “no banning order” in Portugal.
Lennon can then be seen, on video, apparently striking a fellow England supporter to the ground. After he discovered that the video was in circulation, he recorded his excuses. “I see there’s a video doing the rounds of me … I was there with my wife. On four separate occasions things happened, with people trying to be abusive and get aggressive towards me … That man … I’ve already had to tell my wife to move and walk away because he’s come up to me twice being rowdy, in my face, being abusive, being aggressive”.
But now that he’s up for a banning order, that is not a sufficient defence. He has to discredit the video evidence. You think I jest? This from the Manchester Evening News: “Scott Ivill, representing Robinson, claimed the video footage relied on by the police was ‘unreliable and unfair’ because it could not be proved it was ‘genuine’”. Except Lennon effectively confirmed that the events shown in the video happened as shown.
Sadly for Lennon and his lawyer, “District Judge Sally Fudge ruled that all four sets of clips were admissible”. Worse, of thos four clips, two “included footage appearing to show Robinson punching a man outside a football stadium in Portugal and of him appearing to assault a man at Ascot, the district judge said”. Ah yes, the Ascot incident.
And it gets worse still: while Lennon’s lawyer claims that the video evidence is “unreliable and unfair”, TR News - his own website - is using stills from the Guimarães clip to back up an article making the claim “TOMMY Robinson has hit back at fake news reports that claimed he ‘randomly’ punched an England fan in Portugal last night”. FAKE NOOS!
Thus the hypocrisy: it’s OK for his own site to use stills from the video, but when it might get him a football banning order, it’s “unreliable and unfair”. But it really isn’t.
Lennon’s full banning order hearing is next March. Just rejoice at that news.
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