Leader and deputy leader of Britain First convicted of religiously-aggravated public order offences
The leader and deputy leader of Britain First have been convicted after filming and harassing people they incorrectly believed were involved in a rape trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Paul Golding (one count) and Jayda Fransen (three counts) were today found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment following a trial at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how Golding, 36, and Fransen, 31, confronted people they believed were defendants in the case. 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.
Jayda Fransen was jailed for 36 weeks. The sentence was uplifted due to the religiously-aggravated nature of the offending. Paul Golding was jailed for 18 weeks.
Jaswant Narwal, from the CPS, said: “The prosecution case demonstrated these defendants were not merely exercising their right to free speech but were instead aiming religiously-aggravated abuse at innocent members of the public. The victims suffered the distress of the abuse followed by additional stress when the footage was uploaded to the internet.
“This offending also related to an ongoing criminal trial and the actions taken by Fransen and Golding could easily have derailed the justice process.”
Notes to editors
- Jaswant Narwal is Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South-East.
- Jayda Fransen was convicted of three counts of religiously-aggravated harassment and acquitted of one additional count.
- Paul Golding was convicted of one count of religiously-aggravated harassment and acquitted of two additional counts.