News: Eight arrests as Tommy Robinson supporters charge at journalists and swarm around them chanting ‘go, go, go’

News: Eight arrests as Tommy Robinson supporters charge at journalists and swarm around them chanting ‘go, go, go’

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Police have made eight arrests after Tommy Robinson fans stampeded on journalists’ live reporting positions in Westminster in protest at his prison sentence.

Waving nationalist flags and jeering, supporters of the English Defence League founder charged on College Green this lunchtime.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to nine months in prison on Thursday morning for risking prejudicing a sex abuse trial by live streaming defendants on Facebook.

In protest at the result the far-right activist’s fans descended on a small park outside the Houses of Parliament brandishing banners and placards.

Police confirmed on Thursday three people – one woman and two men – aged 28, 50 and 60 were arrested for affray, and a 61 year-old woman was arrested for a public order offence.

Robinson supporters hurled missiles and beer bottles at City of London police officers

City of London police made four further arrests last Friday for affray as Robinson fans protested outside the Old Bailey as he was charged with contempt of court.

In alarming scenes on Thursday lunchtime protesters swarmed around reporters in Westminster, angrily shouting “go, go, go” and some heckling “free Tommy Robinson” and “the UK is a police state”.

As journalists and production crews frantically tried to pack up their lighting, cameras and microphone equipment and flee the area some fans began lashing out at them.

In video footage posted to Twitter one fan is seen thrashing a cameraman with a lighting stand before he is ushered away towards the back of the stampede.

Police moved in and eventually managed to get hold of the situation, despite some Robinson supporters creating a human road block to trap a riot police van.

The violent scuffles came shortly after Robinson had been convicted of contempt of court at the Old Bailey, wearing a ‘convicted for journalism’ T-shirt.

A BBC journalist and their team were forced to run for cover as the EDL-founder’s fans swarmed around them on College Green

Judges said he ‘encouraged vigilante action’ through his live-streaming of defendants in a grooming gang trial arriving at Leeds Crown Court with his commentary, seen by hundreds of thousands of fans.

This breached the reporting restrictions on the case designed to ensure the jury were not prejudiced.

The court ruling revealed that his actions caused one gang member to appeal their conviction, and nearly collapsed the case against the guilty men.

Judge Dame Victoria Sharp said: “The respondent cannot be given credit for pleading guilty. He has lied about a number of matters and sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression.

“This does not increase his sentence, but it does mean that there can be no reduction for an admission of guilt.”

Police made arrests after protests among Tommy Robinson fans became violent

He will spend around 19 weeks in prison when the time he has already served from his original sentence last year of 13 months, before he was freed on appeal.

But after the verdict was announced hundreds of Robinson’s mob of supporters gathered outside the Old Bailey booed and chanted “We want Tommy Robinson out”.

The group hurled beer bottles and missiles at police, forcing officers to put on helmets and defend themselves with shields, before they marched to Parliament Square and College Green.

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City of London Police said: “The City of London Police have made eight arrests in relation to offences committed on Friday 5 July outside the Central Criminal Court.

“On Friday 5 July, four men aged 34, 44, 52 and 60 were arrested for affray.

“On Thursday 11 July, a woman aged 28, and two men aged 60 and 50, were arrested for affray. One woman aged 61 was arrested for a public order offence.”



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