Authorization

Britain First leader and deputy leader guilty of hate crimes

Britain First leader and deputy leader guilty of hate crimes

Jayda Fransen (left) and Paul Golding (right) had denied religiously-aggravated harassment
The leader and deputy leader of far-right group Britain First have been found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment.Paul Golding, 36, and Jayda Fransen, 31, were arrested over the distribution of leaflets and posting of online videos during a Muslim gang-rape trial.Fransen was convicted of three counts of religiously aggravated harassment. Golding was found guilty of one charge.The verdicts were handed down at Folkestone Magistrates' Court.The court heard they had targeted homes and people in Kent whom they believed were connected to a rape trial at Canterbury Crown Court where three Muslim men and a teenager were convicted of rape and jailed.
The pair, both from Penge in south-east London, were arrested in May last year.
Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen arrived at the court with Britain First supporters
Fransen had denied four counts, and Golding had denied three. Judge Justin Barron dismissed the remaining counts against them, and is due to sentence them later.
'Hostility' towards Muslims
He told the court that Fransen and Golding were "well-known", "controversial" and "generate their own publicity", but his verdict was based "solely on admissible evidence heard in court".He said their words and actions "demonstrated hostility" towards Muslims and the Muslim faith."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," he told the court.During their trial in January, Folkestone Magistrates' Court heard the pair confronted people they believed were defendants in the gang-rape trial. However, in each case, they instead targeted innocent members of the public. They filmed the abuse and then released it on social media and through the Britain First website. They also posted offensive leaflets through the letterboxes of houses in the area where the rape-trial defendants lived.
Ramsgate
Luton
Penge
Folkestone
Canterbury
Britain First
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