Tommy Robinson appears in court over football banning order

Robinson claimed the punch was self-defence

Friday, October 18, 2019

Tommy Robinson has appeared in court in a legal battle to avoid being banned from attending England football matches.

The court heard that the 36-year-old was caught on camera “swinging” at a man who was knocked to the ground ahead of England’s 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the Nations League semi-final.

Following the incident in the Portuguese city of Guimaraes in June, the footage was widely circulated on social media.

Bedfordshire Police and the UK Football Policing Unit are now seeking a football banning order under the Football Spectators Act 1989, which would see Robinson barred from attending England games in the UK and abroad.

The former English Defence League leader, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has said he was acting in self-defence, claiming he lashed out at a drunk England fan who had been “verbally threatening”.

He said: “I had been trying to walk up there and he kept getting in my face.

“It's self-defence because I'm not going to wait for him to beat me up in front of my missus.”

Robinson confirmed his person details and his nationality as English as he appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court today.

The civil case was adjourned until January 17 and the full hearing was set for March 24.

District Judge Leigh Smith told Robinson: "I am going to adjourn this matter to January 17 when you will appear before court for a further case management hearing.

"You are not the subject of criminal proceedings. There is no issue of bail. You are free to go."

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