Judge tells Tommy Robinson he’s not as well known as he thinks he is as he loses police harassment case

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EDL founder Tommy Robinson’s claim he was ‘harassed’ by police due to his views when he was ordered from a pub while watching a football match has been rejected, a court heard on Friday.

Robinson, 36, sued Cambridgeshire Police claiming that he was ‘harassed’ and ‘humiliated’ when he was told to leave the pub with other football supporters.

The right-wing activist was at the Grain and Hop Store with his children in Cambridge on August 27, 2016 before being removed by police, a court heard.

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Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was watching a football match in the pub until he claimed he was forced out by police.

Tommy Robinson leaves the county court in Peterborough. Photo: Terry HarrisTommy Robinson leaves the county court in Peterborough. Photo: Terry Harris
Tommy Robinson leaves the county court in Peterborough. Photo: Terry Harris

But on Friday a judge said the police force’s actions did not amount to harassment.

Speaking at the conclusion of the four-day case at Peterborough County Court, Her Honour Judge Karen Walden-Smith said: “He thought he was being singled out and moved on because of who he was.

“That is not in my judgement the case. Mr Lennon is not as well known as he and his supporters may think.”

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Judge Walden-Smith added that the event did not amount to harassment because it was not a series of actions.

She said: “I cannot accept that the complaint that was made by Mr Lennon in respect of what happened on the late afternoon of August 27 satisfies that.

“This was one event. It started upstairs in the public house and continued going downstairs through the ground floor and outside.”

The Luton FC fan had claimed officers picked him out “because of my beliefs” in issuing him with a dispersal order and that he had not been with other fans in the pub but with his three children.

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But a police officer denied deliberately targeting Robinson, insisting it was because he had been identified as being part of a group of ‘risk’ football fans in the pub.

Sgt Street previously told the court he had limited knowledge of Tommy Robinson prior to the incident and believed he was “an 80s football hooligan”.

He said Tommy “smelled of alcohol and was becoming irate” making it impossible to have a “reasonable conversation”.

Robinson denied he had been drinking that day.

Alison Gurden, for Robinson, told the court “there was nothing to say Mr Lennon had to leave the pub” on the day.

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She said: “The landlady was quite happy for him to stay there. Mr Lennon had the right to stay there until he chose to leave.”

Ms Gurden added: “I would submit that Mr Lennon was not behaving in a manner that could have got him arrested.

“There was nothing to indicate Mr Lennon was likely to become involved in disorder.

“He’s certainly not dressed for a fight. He’s wearing flip-flops.”

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She also claimed her client was discriminated against for his “philosophical beliefs in relation to Islamic extremism”.

But Judge Walden-Smith rejected this, saying: “In my judgement there is no evidence Mr Lennon is being treated differently...because of his beliefs about fundamentalist Islam.”

The judge also rejected the claim that Robinson’s Article 8, 9 and 10 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights had been interfered with.

Robinson was given seven days to appeal the decision, and ordered to pay £20,000 in interim costs within 14 days.

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Speaking outside the court, Mr Robinson said: “I will appeal this and I will continue to fight it.

“How anyone can watch that video and defend the police actions on that day is beyond me. It’s unbelievable.”