Judges have found Tommy Robinson encouraged “vigilante action” against a group of defendants when he filmed them and broadcast the footage on social media.
Dame Victoria Sharp said the words the former English Defence League leader used in the video, filmed outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018, would have been understood as an “incitement” against the men.
The judge at the Old Bailey said the “encouragement” to “harass” one of the defendants by finding him, knocking on his door, following him, and watching him gave rise to “a real risk that the course of justice would be seriously impeded”.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found to have committed contempt of court by Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby in a hearing on Friday.
Explaining the reasons on Tuesday, Dame Victoria said despite his claim that the intention was to “denounce the media”, the effect of Robinson’s words “approves and encourages vigilante action”.
She added the dangers of using the “un-moderated platforms” of social media, with its “unparalleled speed and reach”, were obvious, and that Robinson’s conduct created a risk that the defendants would be intimidated.
“His words had a clear tendency to encourage unlawful physical or verbal aggression towards identifiable targets,” she said.
“Harassment of the kind he was describing could not be justified.”
Robinson broadcast the footage while the jury in the second of a series of linked grooming trials was considering its verdict.
A reporting restriction was in place, which postponed the publication of any details of the case until the end of all the trials involving 29 people.
The 36-year-old, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was jailed for 13 months after being found in contempt of court on the day of the broadcast.
The video lasted an hour-and-a-half and was viewed online 250,000 times after being live-streamed on Facebook.
It was eventually viewed 3.4 million times after being shared following his arrest.
He served two months in jail before being freed after the original finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August 2018.
The Attorney General then announced in March it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against Robinson, so permission was given for a new case to be brought.
Robinson is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.
Contempt of court carries a maximum sentence of two years.
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