Tommy Robinson has taken Cambridgeshire police to court amid claims it harassed him in front of his family, with officers asking him to leave a Cambridge pub and allegedly following him to the city’s railway station.
Mr Robinson, appearing in court under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, said he had taken his children to see Luton Town play away against Cambridge United.
The 36-year-old former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) was at a pub after the match in August 2016 when officers used a dispersal order.
He told Peterborough County Court today (Tuesday, March 12) he felt he was “targeted by police because of my beliefs”, but Inspector Matthew Johnson of Cambridgeshire police told the court he had received information from police spotters who had been following Luton Town fans after the football match.
He said he was told that Mr Yaxley-Lennon was with a group of “risk” fans.
“I was advised he was upstairs in the pub and I assumed wrongly that the children had all gone off with one of the other adults,” he said.
He continued: “This wasn’t about Mr Robinson, Mr Yaxley-Lennon, this was about the group in the pub.”
He said he “made a decision that the risk group had to be removed from the pub” and that included Mr Yaxley-Lennon.
He described the pub as “not the type of place you take kids after a football match”.
Alison Gurden, representing Mr Yaxley-Lennon, asked Mr Johnson if he had been advised that Mr Yaxley-Lennon was drinking water.
“No, I wasn’t advised he was drinking water,” he said, adding that he “knew” others in the group were drinking alcohol.
The case, listed for four days, continues.