Tommy Robinson handed interim stalking ban after 'threatening journalist and her partner'

19 March 2021, 20:04 | Updated: 19 March 2021, 21:31

Tommy Robinson threatened to falsely accuse a journalist's partner of being a paedophile
Tommy Robinson threatened to falsely accuse a journalist's partner of being a paedophile. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Tommy Robinson has been given a journalist stalking ban after threatening to falsely accuse a correspondent's partner of being a paedophile in a bid to suppress a negative story about him, a court has heard.

The English Defence League (EDL) founder, 38, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was handed the temporary stalking prevention order on Friday.

He did not attend the hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, where Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram agreed to enforce the measure ahead of a full application on 2 July.

The stalking order was issued to Robinson against Independent home affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden and her boyfriend Samuel Partridge.

It comes after the 38-year-old went to the couple's home in south-east London on 17 January, the court heard, just days after a request for comment was made through his solicitors' firm regarding a story that alleged he misused money donated to him by his supporters.

Robinson has denied the claims.

Read more: Tommy Robinson flees UK to 'relocate' abroad as he 'doesn't feel safe'

Read more: Police seek 10 people after 20 officers injured at Free Tommy protest

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, best known as Tommy Robinson, founded the English Defence League
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, best known as Tommy Robinson, founded the English Defence League. Picture: PA

The Metropolitan Police's representative, Ryan Dowding, said the EDL founder and self-styled independent journalist arrived at the property at around 9:50pm in a black Range Rover and began buzzing the building's intercom.

Mr Dowding then said Robinson asked the couple to "come down to talk".

He allegedly tried entering the building after they refused but was stopped by security.

The Met representative told the court: "He could be heard shouting very loudly words to the effect of, 'Samuel, I know you're inside. Come out and we'll sort this out. We'll be back every day if we have to'."

He added that the person inside the Range Rover was honking the horn and shining the headlights onto the building on full beam as the 38-year-old shouted: "There's a paedophile living in this building."

Robinson, who was arrested over the incident, later posted two pictures of Mr Partridge online before sending an email to Ms Dearden purporting to comment on her story about him, in which it is alleged he falsely claimed to have a source who said Mr Partridge had groomed a child, the court heard.

Mr Ikram said he was satisfied the temporary order was "necessary and proportionate" because the acts were "capable of being associated with stalking" and there was an "ongoing risk".

"What the police say in this case is he has embarked on all of this to persuade her not to publish the story and he sought to do so by the threat of publishing his own allegations about her partner, which it's said are simply not true," he said.

The order prevents Robinson, who lives in Bedfordshire, from contacting Ms Dearden and her partner or publishing anything about them on social media unless referring to her as the author when responding to any story written by her.

Mr Dowding said Robinson, a "high-profile public figure" and "self-styled independent journalist" currently produces content on social media such as encrypted messaging app Telegram.

"He is aware of the hearing because yesterday he posted a Telegram video in which he makes reference to being in court on Friday afternoon," he said.