What's with the Far Right's obsession with paedophilia?
English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson threatened to falsely accuse a journalist’s partner of being a paedophile in a bid to squash a negative story about him, a court has heard.
The 38-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was on Friday handed a temporary stalking prevention order against Independent home affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden and her boyfriend Samuel Partridge.
Robinson did not attend the hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram agreed to impose the interim order ahead of a full application on 2 July.
The court heard Robinson went to their home in south-east London on 17 January – days after a request for comment through his solicitors’ firm about a story alleging he misused money donated by his supporters.
Ryan Dowding, representing the Metropolitan Police, said Robinson arrived at around 9.50pm with another person in a black Range Rover and began buzzing the building’s intercom.
He asked Dearden and Partridge to “come down to talk” and tried to get into the building when they refused, but was stopped by security, he said.
Dowding 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 said the person inside the Range Rover was honking the horn and shining the headlights onto the building on full beam as Robinson shouted: “There’s a paedophile living in this building.”
Robinson, who was arrested over the incident, later posted two pictures of Partridge online before sending an email to Dearden purporting to comment on her story about him, in which he falsely claimed to have a source who said Partridge had groomed a child, the court heard.
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 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.
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.