Tommy Robinson has pleaded with Donald Trump to grant him asylum in the US to escape a potential prison sentence in the UK.
The English Defence League founder has been found in contempt of court after filming defendants outside Leeds Crown Court and broadcasting the footage on social media in breach of a reporting ban.
High Court judges have found that Robinson “encouraged mob rule” by live-streaming footage of men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls at Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.
Dame Victoria Sharp said the video will have been seen by viewers as “an incitement” to harass the defendants.
The Old Bailey heard the video almost collapsed the trial of a West Yorkshire grooming gang, with one of the accused appealing against his conviction on the ground he had been unable to receive a fair hearing.
Robinson is expected to be sentenced tomorrow. In a broadcast on the InfoWars website, he said: “I feel like I’m two days away from being sentenced to death in the UK.
“I beg Donald Trump, I beg the American government, to look at my case. I need evacuation from this country because dark forces are at work,” said Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
He claimed he would be killed if he is jailed, alleging that British prisons are “controlled by jihadi gangs”.
He concluded: “This is a direct appeal on behalf of my family – we love the United States, I have no future here [in Britain]. The country has fallen.”
A series of commentators have argued there is an irony in Robinson, who has spoken out against refugees, seeking asylum in a foreign country. As The Independent points out, “everyone is making the same point”.