Both of Britain First's Leaders Have Been Jailed for Hate Crimes
The judge said – surprise, surprise – that the pair had "demonstrated hostility" towards Muslims.
Photo: Peter Manning / Alamy Stock Photo
The leader and deputy leader of Britain First – the far-right Facebook page, cum-shouty street team, cum-historically disastrous political party – have been jailed for 18 and 36 weeks respectively.
Paul Golding, 36, was found guilty of one count of religiously-aggravated harassment, while 31-year-old Jayda "Retweeted By Trump" Fransen was found guilty of three counts of the same charge.
The pair were arrested on the 10th of May, 2017 in relation to their unique style of "campaigning" against the defendants in a trial at Canterbury Crown Court – three Muslim men and a teenager, who were eventually convicted and jailed for raping a 16-year-old girl in a flat above the 555 Pizza takeaway shop in Ramsgate, Kent.
Both Golding and Fransen were convicted on a charge of religiously aggravated harassment for an incident at the takeaway on the 5th of May. Fransen banged on the shop's windows and doors, the court heard, and screamed "paedophile", "rapist" and "foreigner" while two children and a man – none of whom were directly related to the case – were inside.
Fransen was also convicted on another charge of harassment after turning up at a house she mistakenly believed to be owned by another defendant, and on a third charge for visiting the home of defendant Tamin Rahmani and shouting racist abuse through his door.
During the rape trial, Britain First distributed propaganda leaflets and uploaded videos pushing their agenda. Sentencing Golding and Fransen at Canterbury Crown Court, Judge Justin Barron said, "'I have no doubt it was their joint intention to use the facts of the case [in Canterbury] for their own political ends. It was a campaign to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants."
Judge Barron added that the duo's words and actions "demonstrated hostility" towards Muslims. This, of course, came as no surprise: Britain First has made its name through travelling the country, visiting mosques and harassing Muslims.
In case you're still not sure where you've heard of them, the group has also made the news for: picking up a dismal share of the vote in the 2016 London Mayoral elections, being roundly told to fuck off by the residents of towns where they have held demonstrations, and for that time US President Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, one of which was shown to be fake news.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.