Tommy Robinson in court accused of stalking reporter left ‘scared to open door’
A journalist was ‘too frightened’ to answer the door when ‘very angry and agitated’ Tommy Robinson turned up to confront her about a negative story, a court head.
The Independent’s home affairs and security correspondent Lizzie Dearden had contacted The English Defence League (EDL) founder by email about a planned news report on how donations were spent.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, did not reply to the request but instead turned up at the home she shares in London with her boyfriend, Samuel Partridge, on January 17.
He was heard ‘screaming’ in the street while buzzing the intercom at the block of flats to demand a face-to-face meeting, Westminster Magistrates Court heard.
Prosecutor Ryan Dowding said he made baseless allegations that Mr Partridge is a paedophile who had groomed a child, and threatened to publish the claim to his supporters in an alleged attempt to quash the donations story.
Mr Dowding said ‘there were then threats to come back every day if he needed to’.
He said these threats appear on a video which Robinson filmed, where he can he heard saying: ‘Lizzie, I will be back every day if I have to.’
Mr Dowding said Robinson was with someone in a Range Rover who was sounding the horn loudly throughout.
Ms Dearden gave evidence remotely on Friday and was asked why she did not wish to go to speak to Robinson when he attended her home.
She told the court: ‘Because I didn’t know what he was going to do, and, from what I could hear on the intercom and through the street, he sounded very angry and agitated.
‘Basically, I was too frightened to go down.’
She said she ‘called 999 so quickly’ and could hear Robinson asking for her partner by name and then her by name.
The court previously heard that Robinson, who was arrested over the incident, later posted two pictures of Mr Partridge online before sending an email to Ms Dearden purporting to comment on her story about him, in which he falsely claimed to have a source who said her partner had groomed a child.
It was put to Mr Partridge, who also gave evidence remotely, that he had overstated in his statement the extent to which Robinson was loud and agitated.
Mr Partridge said he disagreed, adding: ‘He was polite to begin with. That changed very quickly.’
The Met Police has applied for a Stalking Prevention Order against Robinson, 38, arguing he poses a risk of repeating his behaviour in the future.
Robinson, who is resisting the order, says his actions during the incident in January this year were ‘reasonable’ and he does not pose a future risk.
He attended the hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday despite the expectation that he would join proceedings remotely.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram adjourned the hearing until next Thursday when evidence for Robinson is expected to be heard.
The activist is currently subject to a temporary court order which prevents him from contacting Ms Dearden or Mr Partridge – unless he has been contacted over a particular news story – or publishing anything about them online.
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