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Mon 6 December 2021

The English Defence League founder turned up at the home of a journalist who was planning to write an article about him, the court heard

Former English Defence League founder and self-styled journalist-activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who refers to himself as Tommy Robinson, has been served with an interim stalking protection order, over his actions towards a journalist working for the Independent and her partner.

Byline Times was in attendance at Westminster Magistrates Court this afternoon to hear the case against Yaxley-Lennon, in relation to his actions towards Lizzie Dearden – a reporter for the Independent who specialises in security and extremism – and her partner.

Neither Yaxley-Lennon nor his representatives attended the hearing. The presiding judge decided to impose an interim stalking order on Yaxley-Lennon until a full hearing can take place on 2 July. At this time, the court will consider whether to impose a full stalking protection order. The interim protection order prohibits Yaxley-Lennon 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.

The court heard that Dearden had sent an email to legal representatives of Yaxley-Lennon, asking him to provide a comment on an article she was preparing on his alleged misuse of donations from his supporters.

In response, Yaxley-Lennon is said to have turned up at Dearden’s home one evening at 9:50pm, with another man, asking Dearden and her partner to come downstairs. When Dearden refused, Yaxley-Lennon allegedly tried to get into the building, and is said to have shouted to Dearden’s partner: “I know you’re inside. Come out and we’ll sort this out.”

On leaving, Yaxley-Lennon is said to have audibly shouted: “We’ll be back every day if we have to.”

Yaxley-Lennon was arrested later that evening over the incident and, on release from custody, he posted an image of Dearden’s partner on social media, appealing to his followers to find out more information about him.

Two days after Yaxley-Lennon made an appearance at Dearden’s address, the court heard, he sent a long email to the journalist, falsely claiming that he had a source suggesting that Dearden’s partner was engaged in pedophilia, and threatening to publish an article to that effect if Dearden’s article about him went ahead.

The judge said the stalking order is “necessary and proportionate” because Yaxley-Lennon’s acts were “capable of being associated with stalking” and there was an “ongoing risk” to Dearden and her partner.

The court will consequently hear the full case on 2 July.

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