Divisional Court to hear Yaxley-Lennon committal application

Attorney General applies for committal of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson)

On 4 & 5 July 2019 the Divisional Court (Sharp P; Warby J) will hear the Attorney General’s application for the committal of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).

The case concerns Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s live-streaming of a video from outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018 as defendants in one of the “Huddersfield grooming trials” were arriving. Mr Yaxley-Lennon was committed summarily by the trial judge, but this was later quashed by the Court of Appeal for reasons of procedural unfairness and a rehearing before the Recorder of London under the Criminal Procedure Rules was ordered. When that procedure proved to be unsuitable, the Recorder of London referred the matter to the Attorney General, who obtained the Court’s permission to make a committal application in May 2019.

Three varieties of contempt are alleged: breach of an order made under s4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 postponing reports of the Leeds trial ; “strict liability” contempt contrary to ss.1 and 2 of the Act; and common law contempt for direct interference with the administration of justice based on Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s filming of and behaviour towards the criminal defendants.

5RB’s Andrew Caldecott QC and Aidan Eardley appear for the Attorney General, instructed by the Treasury Solicitor.