Tommy Robinson libel case: English Defence League founder loses libel case against Syrian schoolboy
and live on Freeview channel 276
English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson has lost a libel case brought against him by a Syrian schoolboy who was filmed being attacked at school.
Robinson - whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - was sued by Jamal Hijazi, who was assaulted in a playground at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield in October 2018.
We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below
At a glance: 5 key points
- Shortly after the video of the incident went viral, Mr Robinson claimed in two Facebook videos that Jamal was “not innocent and he violently attacks young English girls in his school”.
- In the clips viewed by nearly one million people, the 38-year-old also claimed Jamal “beat a girl black and blue” and “threatened to stab” another boy at his school, allegations the teenager denies.
- At a four-day trial in April, Jamal’s lawyers said that Mr Robinson’s comments had “a devastating effect” on the schoolboy and his family who had come to the UK as refugees from Homs, Syria.
- Mr Robinson, who represented himself, argued his comments were substantially true, claiming to have “uncovered dozens of accounts of aggressive, abusive and deceitful behaviour” by Jamal.
- However, in a judgment delivered on Thursday, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled in Jamal’s favour and granted him £100,000 in damages.
What’s been said
Catrin Evans QC, for Jamal, previously said that Robinson’s comments led to the teenager “facing death threats and extremist agitation”.
During the trial, Ms Evans described Mr Robinson as “a well-known extreme-right advocate” with an “anti-Muslim agenda” who used social media to spread his views.
She added that Mr Robinson’s videos “turned Jamal into the aggressor and the bully into a righteous white knight”.
Robinson maintained he was an independent journalist during the trial, telling the court: “The media simply had zero interest in the other side of this story, the uncomfortable truth.”
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.