Tommy Robinson has described a Spartan existence in prison in an interview following his release, claiming he was kept locked in solitary confinement for 23 and a half hours at a time and had to subsist on one can of tuna a day.
The activist was bounced into prison to serve two consecutive prison sentences for contempt of court within five hours of an arrest for an alleged breach of the peace in May.
The decision was defended at the time by a number of left-liberal talking heads and legal commentators, including the pseudonymous ‘Secret Barrister’, but quashed on August 1st in the Court of Appeal by the Lord Chief Justice, who ruled that the sentencing judge had moved with unseemly haste and deviated from proper due process in a way that was “much more than a technical failure”.
Robinson’s time in prison appeared to have a taken a serious toll on him in the interview, conducted by his former employer at Rebel Media, Ezra Levant. The Luton native appeared gaunt, hollow-eyed, and slurred his words.
He told the Canadian he had only seen his wife and children twice, for an hour at a time, in all the time he was behind bars, and spent almost all his time in solitary confinement.
“They moved me from HMP Hull, which was a 7 percent Muslim population, to the most densely Muslim-populated prison in the country,” he claimed.
“I had threats every day… I couldn’t have my cell windows open because they would be spat through or shit put through, so I had my windows shut all the time,” he said, describing how he struggled with the recent heatwave as a result.
EXCLUSIVE — Congressman Gosar: U.S. Should Intervene over ‘Persecution’ of Tommy Robinson https://t.co/yl52PsqPJ3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 15, 2018
Asked if he knew why he had been moved from Hull, he said the authorities “gave no reason, but I know why they did it — because what they then did is they used the excuse of my safety [to] put me straight in solitary confinement.”
Robinson described this confinement as “23 and a half hours a day, locked in a room [with] a blue mat… and then for thirty minutes a day they open the door and you walk into a cage… small, and you walk around the cage on your own, and then they open the door and lock you back in.”
The Englishman appeared visibly disturbed while recounting his incarceration.
“If every prisoner had that… If that was the sentence for prisoners…” he began, falteringly.
“It was the fact that every other prisoner’s cell door opens at 8 o’clock in the morning and they’re out of their cell working, having football, playing pool, and then they get locked up at 6 o’clock at night,” he finally explained.
“And then I think, I haven’t done anything — but because they’ve brought me to a Muslim-run prison, they’ve used the excuse that this is why they have to [keep me confined].”
Robinson said he could not eat the food which was sent to his cell in case it was poisoned — having been prepared, he said, by Muslim prisoners, who would goad him by asking “How’s your dinner, Tommy?”
He instead subsisted on a tin of tuna a day, as it came sealed and he could be reasonably sure of its safety, plus some fruit.
Levant said that Robinson, who looked far leaner than when he went inside two months ago, had told he had dropped fully 42 pounds — around three stones, or twenty kilograms.
Tommy Robinson Lawyer: Judge Did Not View Evidence, Prison Islamists Threatening Acid Attack on Tommy’s Wife https://t.co/H3OssNKf5n
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 21, 2018
Robinson became emotional several times when describing the toll the experience had taken on his family, and when thanking those who have supported him outside prison.
He is also concerned that, while his original conviction has been quashed, the appeal judges ordered his hearing to be reheard, meaning he could be sent back inside — a move he believes has been designed to “mentally break” him.
“Tommy knows that he was messed up… I don’t think he even knows how badly,” commented Levant after the interview.
“I think his health has been permanently affected, and that was on purpose,” he added.