Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen guilty of hate crime

Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen turned a rape trial into a publicity opportunity

Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen turned a rape trial into a publicity opportunity

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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, 32, both of Penge, south-east London, went on trial in January at Folkestone Magistrates' Court, charged with three and four counts respectively of the hate crime.

They were arrested in May last year as part of an investigation into the distribution of leaflets and online videos which were posted during a trial at Canterbury Crown Court in the same month, after which three Muslim men and a teenager were convicted of rape and jailed.

During the trial, jurors were also shown a video of Fransen going to the home of one of the defendants, Tamin Rahmani, and shouting “come out and face me you disgusting rapist, come on.”

Judge Justin Barron found Fransen guilty of three charges and Golding - who insisted he was only acting as Fransen's campaign and the campaign was hers - of one.

Barron said the pairs' actions "demonstrated hostility" towards Muslims and the Muslim faith, adding: "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."

They are due to be sentenced on Wednesday afternoon.

Fransen and Golding are also due to face trial in Belfast in April over remarks made at an anti-terror rally last year.