The co-founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, who later left the group, has initiated a legal battle against Cambridgeshire Police, suing them for a 2016 incident in which he was removed from a local pub. The activist, whose actual name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, claims that officers harassed him as they forced him to leave a Cambridge pub where he had gone with his children.
According to the police, he was removed along with 18 Luton Town fans whose club played that day as law enforcement feared potential trouble. However, he insists that he was forced out because of violent left-wing groups nearby, the Daily Mail reports.
"Police came into the premises and said we had to leave the city, not the pub, just the city. They followed us with cameras, my kids got hysterical. The next week we were walking through town and my daughter grabbed my leg because she was scared by police”, Robinson told the Mirror.
The hearings are expected to end by 15 March.
Robinson himself faces an allegation that he committed contempt of court by filming people before a criminal trial, with the first hearing scheduled at the High Court on 22 March.
In May 2017, Mr Yaxley-Lennon filmed four men outside a court, who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl. The trial was subject to reporting restrictions and a judge at Canterbury Crown Court gave him a three-month suspended sentence for contempt of court. In May 2018, he was jailed for potentially prejudicing a court case after broadcasting on social media outside Leeds Crown Court.
He was sentenced to 13 months — 10 months for the contempt of court in Leeds and a further three months for breaching the previous suspended sentence. Robinson has appealed against both contempt rulings.