UK Court Detains Fringe Far-Right Group Britain First's Leaders

Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, leader and deputy leader of far-right group Britain First and supporters upon arrivial at Folkestone Magistrates Court  Credit Gareth Fuller  PA Wire

During the trial in the rape case, Ms. Fransen and Mr. Golding made video recordings, which they posted on social media, of Ms. Fransen knocking on the doors of places where they believed the defendants were present - though in each case, prosecutors said, they were wrong - and insulting them and daring them to come out and face her.

They were arrested in May previous year as an investigation was launched into the distribution of leaflets and online videos posted during the trial, where Fransen can be seen standing outside houses, banging doors and windows, hurling slurs at people inside. Golding was filming while Fransen banged on the windows and doors, screaming "paedophile" and a "foreigner" as two children played in the middle of the shop and Jamshed Khesrow, a friend of the owners, was inside.

Appearing at Folkestone Magistrates' Court, Fransen was convicted of three counts of religiously-aggravated harassment and Golding convicted of one count.

The Finsbury Park terror attacker, Darren Osborne, read Britain First posts before his attempted massacre of Muslim worshippers, while neo-Nazi Thomas Mair repeatedly shouted the group's name while murdering Labour MP Jo Cox.

The pair launched a political campaign in which they claimed to be trying to expose Muslim men who were the subject of a rape trial.

"The fact that completely innocent members of the public were accused of being rapists, making them fear for their own safety, shows how little regard they have for the consequences of their actions".

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When Fransen and Golding were being sentenced, members of the press requested the release of the pictures but were told force policy was only to release images if a defendant had been handed an immediate jail sentence of more than a year.

The three clips were previously tweeted by Fransen, who was previously convicted in November 2016 of religiously aggravated harassment. Both denied the charges.

"She said 'Muslims rape British kids'".

Britain First came to global prominence when President Donald Trump retweeted a series of inflammatory posts by the political campaign.

The group gained global notoriety when Donald Trump shared several of Fransen's Twitter posts a year ago, sparking a diplomatic row after Theresa May condemned the action.

"Britain First dehumanizes through nationalism and race in the same way religious extremists dehumanize through theology", Qudosi added. "It is high time that they be held responsible for hate speech".

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