Tommy Robinson loses Cambridgeshire Police harassment case

image copyrightPress Association
image captionTommy Robinson, in court under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, said he was told to leave a pub by police

English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson has lost his legal challenge claiming police harassed him.

Appearing in court under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, 36, was asked to move on from a Cambridge pub following a football match in August 2016.

He said Cambridgeshire Police had targeted him "because of his beliefs".

Judge Karen Walden-Smith said there was "no evidence that Mr Lennon was being treated differently because of his beliefs about fundamentalist Islam."

His harassment claim was heard at Peterborough County Court.

'Not as well known'

Sgt Paul Street, who asked Mr Yaxley-Lennon to move on from the pub, told the court he did not know what Tommy Robinson looked like and thought the name referred to an "'80s football hooligan".

He said he moved Mr Yaxley-Lennon on due to intelligence that he was a football supporter likely to cause trouble, and was with a group of other "risk" supporters.

Giving her judgement following a four-day hearing, Ms Walden-Smith said: "Mr Lennon isn't as well-known as he and his supporters may think."

Ms Walden-Smith ruled that all of his claims, including several under the Human Rights Act, had failed.

Mr Yaxley-Lennon said he had been with his three children, aged between five and nine at the time, on a family day out to see Luton Town play Cambridge United.

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image captionHe was with his three young children at the time and was not dressed for a fight, his lawyer said

Alison Gurden, representing the 36-year-old, said Sgt Street "didn't take into account factors that he should have done".

"It wasn't necessary [to move him on] as there was... nothing to indicate Mr Lennon was likely to become involved in disorder," she said.

'Corrupt system'

"He's there with his children and he's certainly not dressed for a fight, he's in his flip-flops."

She said Mr Yaxley-Lennon believed he was "discriminated against on the grounds of being Tommy Robinson and his beliefs".

When the judge read out her decision, there was a shout of "the law's an ass" from the public gallery and Mr Yaxley-Lennon said the judgment reflected the "entire corrupt system".

The judge ordered that Mr Yaxley-Lennon pay £20,000 towards the defendant's costs.

Mr Yaxley-Lennon said outside court that he would appeal against the judgement.

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