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Tommy Robinson loses libel case brought by Syrian schoolboy Jamal Hijazi


English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson has misplaced a High Court libel case brought by a Syrian schoolboy who was filmed being attacked at college.

The far-right activist was sued by Jamal Hijazi, who was assaulted within the playground at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in October 2018.

Shortly after the video of the incident went viral, Robinson claimed in two Facebook movies that Jamal was “not innocent and he violently attacks young English girls in his school”.

In the clips considered by almost a million individuals, the 38-year-old additionally claimed Jamal “beat a girl black and blue” and “threatened to stab” one other boy at his faculty, allegations {the teenager} denies.

At a four-day trial in April, Jamal’s attorneys mentioned Robinson’s feedback had “a devastating effect” on the schoolboy and his household, who had come to the UK as refugees from Homs, Syria.

Robinson, whose actual identify is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and who represented himself, argued that his feedback had been considerably true, claiming to have “uncovered dozens of accounts of aggressive, abusive and deceitful behaviour” by 18-year-old Jamal.

However, in a judgment delivered on Thursday, Mr Justice Nicklin dominated in Jamal’s favour and granted him £100,000 in damages.

Catrin Evans QC, for Jamal, beforehand mentioned that Robinson’s feedback led to {the teenager}’s “facing death threats and extremist agitation” and that he ought to obtain damages of between £150,000 and £190,000.

During the trial, Ms Evans described Robinson as “a well-known extreme-right advocate” with an “anti-Muslim agenda” who used social media to unfold his views.

She added that Robinson’s movies “turned Jamal into the aggressor and the bully into a righteous white knight”.

However, Robinson maintained he was an unbiased “journalist” throughout the trial, telling the courtroom: “The media simply had zero interest in the other side of this story, the uncomfortable truth.”

A listening to will comply with Thursday’s judgment to think about the implications of the ruling.

Earlier this yr, Robinson was issued with a stalking safety order after a courtroom was instructed he despatched menacing messages to The Independent’s Home Affairs and Security Correspondent, Lizzie Dearden.

Jamal Hijazi’s lawyer, Francesca Flood, mentioned: “It took great courage for our client, Jamal Hijazi, to pursue his libel action against such a prominent far-right and anti-Islam activist as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson.

“We are delighted that Jamal has been entirely vindicated.

“Jamal and his family now wish to put this matter behind them in order that they can get on with their lives.

“They do, however, wish to extend their gratitude to the great British public for their support and generosity, without which this legal action would not have been possible.”

Reporting by the Press Association

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