Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League, was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning at his home in Luton for allegedly “trying to video Muslim paedophiles” on the steps of Canterbury Crown Court on Monday.
Posting a video to his Facebook page before the arrest, Mr. Robinson told his followers: “It’s 04.32 and the police are at my house, and I’m being arrested for going to a court case in Canterbury and trying to video the Muslim paedophiles.”
Moments later, two police officers are seen in the bottom of the partially obscured frame, one of whom tells Mr. Robinson he cannot use his phone.
A statement made from Mr. Robinson’s Twitter account read that he had been arrested “on charges relating to attempted journalism”.
04:30 this morning. #SaveTommy
Posted by Tommy Robinson on Wednesday, 10 May 2017
A spokesman for Kent Police said: “On Wednesday, officers attended an address in Luton, Bedfordshire, and arrested a 34-year-old man for contempt of court.
“The arrest is in relation to an incident at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday (May 8).”
Crown courts are open to the press, but any filming and recording of courts and court precincts is illegal under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 and the Contempt of Court Act.
According to KentLive, Mr. Robinson was waiting outside Canterbury Crown Court on Monday, hoping to interview one of four male suspects accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in Kent. Officers ushered Mr. Robinson and two cameramen from Rebel Media away, warning them they were at risk of breaking the law by filming on court steps.
The ongoing trial of the accused rapists has heard workers at 555 Pizza and Kebab takeaway in Ramsgate are alleged to have raped the teen.
Restaurant owner Tamin Rahani, 37, from Ramsgate, Shershah Muslimyar, 20, from Canterbury, Rafiullah Hamidy, 24, of no fixed abode, and a teenager (who cannot be named for legal reasons) all deny three charges of rape.
In March, Mr. Robinson and another Rebel Media reporter were ordered off the streets by police officers at a Unite Against Fascism march after he attempted to ask demonstrators their views on issues such as female genital mutilation and sexual grooming.