For those at Rebel Media, which isn’t a far-right media outlet, honestly, the succession of alleged exposés led by former EDL head man Tommy Robinson and featuring his pet creep Caolan Robertson came to a shuddering halt outside Canterbury Crown Court recently when Robinson and his pal turned up seeking to put some of their polite questions to four men standing trial for the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl.
Tommy Robinson ...
These, Robinson had already concluded, were “Muslim Paedos”. The repeated assertion - Robertson also made the claim - that the four were already guilty was in retrospect not a wise move. It may have been a contributory factor in Robinson being subsequently arrested in a dawn raid at his home in the Luton area, taken to Kent, and then bailed on charges of contempt of court. Robinson returned to court on Monday.
This time the former EDL man had donned a suit and tie, and there had been plenty of advance publicity suggesting he was the victim in all of this. A photo showing him “behind bars”, and with the caption “SAVE TOMMY”, had been widely distributed. The thought that it would have been easier for him and his side-kick to learn the basics of the contempt law, and then abide by its provisions, was not allowed to enter.
Now, thanks to the people at Kent Live, we know what happened on Monday afternoon, when Caolan Robertson made great play of his pal Tommy being freed after his court appearance and going home to his family. The reality is that he had pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges - he had little option, given he was caught in the act trying to film within a court building, in violation of signage telling him it was forbidden.
As Kent Live explains, “He was looking to photograph or confront the defendants who included a juvenile which is against the Contempt of Court Act of 1925 - which makes it illegal to photograph witnesses, defendants or jurors within the court precincts”.
... and friends (Caolan Robertson at centre right)
And his excuse? You’ll love this: “Robinson claimed he had only been working for an internet TV company for six weeks and hadn't been taught media law”. A big boy did it and ran away. He could have been arguing in his spare time.
Judge Heather Norton was unimpressed: “Your intention beyond any doubt was to film the defendants but you were not able to do so … This was a deliberate action on your part … Your intention was to seek out the defendants. It is abundantly clear you were on a mission to film the defendants.This is not about free speech or freedom of the press, legitimate journalism or political correctness”. And it got worse - a lot worse.
“This is about justice. It is about being innocent until proven guilty … I find clear evidence of contempt. I take a dim view of your actions. If you commit further offences this sentence will be activated”. That sentence was three months in jail, suspended for 18 months.
His lawyer claimed the Scary Muslims (tm) were out to get him: “He is a marked man. This is not fanciful. He will be put in jeopardy if he goes to prison. Today could be a life changing event”. Well, there’s a straightforward remedy for that.
And that’s to stay the right side of the law. Like most of the rest of us do.