Jailed EDL founder Tommy Robinson is ‘in solitary confinement at Belmarsh amid fears Muslim prison gangs will target him’ after losing 40lbs ‘through starvation’ during first stint in prison
- Tommy Robinson is reportedly being kept in a ‘box’ for ’23 hours a day’
- The ex EDL leader is being kept in a High Security Unit to avoid ‘Muslim gangs’
- He served 10 weeks in HMP Onley before he was moved to HMP Belmarsh
Tommy Robinson is reportedly being kept in solitary confinement and has no contact with other inmates amid fears Muslim prison gangs would target him.
The ex English Defence League (EDL) founder, 35, is allegedly being kept in a ‘box’ for ’23 hours a day’ – after losing ‘nearly 40lb through starvation’ during his first stint in prison, according to the Spectator USA.
Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court after he filmed defendants during the trial of the sexual exploitation of girls at Leeds Crown Court Trial.
He is now serving a nine-and-a-half month sentence for contempt of court, spending 10 weeks in HMP Onley before he was moved to HMP Belmarsh.
Tommy Robinson is reportedly being kept in solitary confinement and has no contact with other inmates amid fears Muslim prison gangs would target him
Ezra Levant, the editor of far-right publication Rebel Media, visited Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, in prison and claims he is being treated like a ‘terrorist’.
He told the publication: ‘Everyone knows that the UK prisons are overrun by gangs, Muslim gangs in particular, which is why he couldn’t be in the general population, and why he couldn’t eat food sent to solitary confinement in Onley.’
The Canadian media mogul also claims Robinson is now being kept in a High Security Unit – accommodation which is usually reserved for ‘Islamists’ or high-profile murderers.
He told the publication: ‘He’s isolated from all other prisoners, he has no contact.
He is now serving a nine-and-a-half month sentence for contempt of court, spending 10 weeks in HMP Onley before he was moved to HMP Belmarsh (pictured)
‘It’s solitary confinement in that he’s not allowed to see any other prisoners, but it’s not like in HMP Onley… here, he’s allowed half an hour on the exercise bike, the prison governor himself visits once a day, he has a medical once a day, he’s not being starved.’
Timeline: The story of Robinson’s imprisonment and release
May 25: Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court after Facebook Live protest outside Leeds Crown Court trial.
May 27: His sentence sparks protests in central London including outside the gates of Downing Street
June 9: A Free Tommy Robinson march in Whitehall turns violent after 21 police officers are hurt when bottles are hurled
July 18: Ex-EDL leader launches appeal against his sentence
August 1: Judges order his release and say he must face new hearing at the Old Bailey
Robinson will serve 66 days in Belmarsh prison before his release date.
It comes after the Ex EDL leader compared his spell in prison to Guantanamo Bay and claimed he survived on a diet of one tin of tuna and a piece of fruit a day during an appearance on Fox News in the US.
Robinson was on talk show Tucker Carlson Tonight in the US on Thursday to discuss his release from prison.
He was released from HMP Onley in Rugby last week after three leading judges in London quashed a contempt finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May.
Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court after a Facebook Live protest, where the judge determined that Robinson’s broadcasting of a video online breached a court order which postponed any reporting of a trial until the conclusion of another, linked, trial.
He was previously given a suspended sentence for contempt at Canterbury Crown Court, when a judge told him it was likely he would go to prison if he engaged in similar conduct in future.
Robinson, 35, was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court after he filmed defendants in during the trial of the sexual exploitation of girls at Leeds Crown Court Trial
At the appeal Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, said the judge at Leeds Crown Court was wrong to deal with Robinson as quickly as he did.
On the programme, which was broadcast on Fox News, Robinson was introduced as an ‘activist’, told the host he was known for ‘criticising Islam’ and that there had been ‘planned attempts’ on his life in the UK.
The 35-year-old said he had been the victim of a ‘kangaroo court’ and complained he had lost ‘nearly 40lb’ in prison after living on a diet of one tin of tuna and a piece of fruit a day.
He said that, after being moved prisons, he was put in solitary confinement for two months which resulted in the shortening of his legal visits and the disruption of his legal access.
Tommy Robinson pictured leaving HMP Onley, near Rugby, on Wednesday after three judges quashed a contempt finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May. Robinson (left) claims he has lost 40 lbs behind bars. Robinson (right) when he was arrested outside Leeds Crown Court
He added: ‘I was supposed to be in Her Majesty’s Prison Service, not Guantanamo Bay.’
The Prison Service has said Robinson was treated with ‘the same fairness we aim to show all prisoners.’
Robinson also told the show that other prisoners threw excrement and spat through his ground floor cell window.
He said: ‘This case, the world has watched it, it’s shocked them, for me this has been nothing new.’
He said he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a five-month period of solitary confinement in 2012 but had not mentioned it because he did not want to compare his prison experience with those of veterans who had been in war zones.
When asked why he had been locked up, Robinson said he still did not know what the reason was and argued he had been the victim of ‘hatchet jobs’ from the ‘mainstream media’.
When asked why he had been locked up, Robinson said he still did not know what the reason was and argued he had been the victim of ‘hatchet jobs’ from the ‘mainstream media’
Robinson could still face jail over an allegation that he committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.
Judges rejected his lawyers’ argument that there should not be a fresh hearing because he has already served the equivalent of a four-month sentence.
Q&A: What did Robinson do wrong?
The far-Right activist twice tried to film Asian defendants in sensitive sex cases, while the trials were under way – in Canterbury in May last year, and in Leeds in May this year. Both judges said this was contempt of court.
What is contempt of court?
Contempt, defined by a complicated series of laws, is activity that undermines a fair trial or defies the orders of a judge. It can bring a two-year jail term.
What was his punishment?
In Leeds, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC ruled that Robinson’s contempt was serious and committed him to prison for 15 months. He reduced that to ten months because Robinson admitted contempt, but added the three-month suspended term imposed by Judge Heather Norton in Canterbury.
Why did Judge Marson get it wrong?
The appeal judges said the judge in Leeds got one thing right – he persuaded Robinson to take his film down from Facebook. But after that things went wrong. Judge Marson acted too hastily, they said. Robinson was given no chance to admit or deny contempt. His punishment was handed down within five hours of the contempt of which he was accused. The judge showed ‘some muddle’.
What about Judge Norton?
Judge Norton made a mistake in referring to contempt as a criminal offence – as did Judge Marson.
Was his punishment too harsh?
Judge Marson’s erroneous ruling – saying that contempt was a criminal offence – had serious consequences for Robinson in prison. Wrongly classed as a convicted criminal, he lost a series of jail privileges including the right to doctors’ visits, to wear his own clothes and to have unrestricted visits.
What happens now?
The appeal judges said the finding of contempt in Leeds must be quashed, and the jail orders dropped. Robinson’s lawyers said contempt charges against him should be abandoned, but the appeal judges said Robinson might have been given a longer jail term than he received, and it was in the public interest for the charges to be properly heard.
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