The reason Tommy Robinson got arrested

We now know the reason why Tommy Robinson got arrested. The formal one that is – and it’s not, perhaps a good reason.

ENGLISH Defence League founder Tommy Robinson was today arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace while filming outside court.

The 35-year-old was at Leeds Crown Court on Friday morning and started a live feed on his Facebook page as a child grooming case continued.

Standing in the street and filming something which then goes on Facebook and the like is not normally an arrestable offence. And if doing so outside a courtroom were then the BBC and ITV and…well, lots of people actually – would be in serious trouble.

The thought that there was some other, deeper, reason for the arrest is what is motivating this:

Hundreds of far-right protesters have descended on Whitehall to demonstrate against Tommy Robinson’s arrest for ‘breaching the peace’ outside a courthouse.

Whitehall had to be closed to traffic as a huge group gathered outside Downing Street on Saturday afternoon, chanting Mr Robinson’s name.

It comes after the founder of the English Defence League was apprehended by police while streaming a Facebook live video outside a grooming trial in Leeds on Friday morning.

It’s even possible to have more than a twinge of concern about civil liberties here without being a far right anything at all.

It is that venerable boat, Raedwald, who has unearthed the reason for the arrest:

The reason Tommy Robinson got arrested

Inquiries as to why this specific trial may not be reported should be addressed to the judge in question.

1. Trials should be both fair and open to public view (except in the most extreme and rarest cases of national security)
2. We have a well-understood prohibition on not commenting, after a person is charged and before the jury returns a verdict, on anything other than factual details including evidence given or produced during the trial.
3. It is usually perfectly possible to arrest and charge a person breaching this rule with contempt of court; if indeed Robinson breached this rule, his arrest and charge are quite justified. Ill-considered, publicity seeking or coercive behaviour could imperil our getting guilty verdicts against guilty persons.

The issue is (and I think some folk have misunderstood the Censorship Order) the trial judge has ruled that the trial of these persons is to be held in secret and it is difficult indeed to understand why he should have made this order. This bans even the reporting of evidence as it is given in court – something that most people agree motivates other victims of the same sort of crimes to come forward.

In the absence of any reason why the factual reporting of the trial may cause ‘substantial risk of prejudice’ the Censorship Order – and the judge – are on probation. If it subsequently proves to be for sound reasons of justice, fair enough. If it proves to have been made for reasons of political expediency, we must see this judge de-robed. However, I can imagine very few reasons that could justify this draconian prohibition of fair and open justice.

It is indeed an oddity.

It is worth noting, in the interests of balance, that Tommy Robinson won’t be sentenced to prison for his actions. Not these ones anyway we’re in the slap on the wrist and a small fine territory here. Except he’s currently got a suspended sentence hanging over him, one which he’ll have to serve if convicted on this more minor charge.

Which is what is driving the concern of those “far right” types of course.

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14 COMMENTS

    • And if, as in Charlottesville, that isn’t enough, “white supremacist” is always available. The President can be called on to disavow them, and businessmen can quit his Councils in a huff if he doesn’t do so categorically enough.

    • That’s a simple one…..far right simply means what the majority think is right and proper but most of whom are too afraid to say, due to the vindictive violent behaviour of the loony left!!

  1. I suspect that the real reason for the arrest was a fear that Mr. Robinson would so inflame Muslim sentiment as to provoke them into rioting.
    This would be behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace, and would be based on the purely practical assessment that arresting one man is far easier than stopping a riot.
    If so it appears that the authorities are perfectly aware that too many Muslims are violent, even though they don’t say so.
    But by taking this approach they give Muslims a heckler’s veto, and encourage them to believe that violence gets results, hence leading more of them to violence.
    It also encourages others to adopt violence.
    It would be wonderful to believe that someone is preparing the resources necessary to reverse this trend, but if so they are keeping it very secret.

  2. Further to the above, I would hope that the authorities prioritise keeping the peace where the matter being spoken of is of small national importance, say the lineage of a group of rival football fans, but prioritise defence of the right to free speech where the matter being spoken of is of great national importance.
    I would hope, but what I see is authorities doing the easy thing, especially when their own past statements are being challenged and with them their own status and position.

  3. As soon as the courts stop treating the populace with contempt, I may return in the favour. Until then the bunch of fuckwits who lord it over us as judges deserve to be taken from their homes one misty morning and strung up by their necks.

    • And removing comments that support Tommy Robinson.

      As others on Guido’s blog have also commented, there has been a perilous decline in the number of comments. The fat tw*t might have been making a decent living, but he’s in danger of losing that having got too close to the people he’s mean to be reporting on.

      Like expecting an unbiased opinion from the BBCs political commentators.