Britain First leaders jailed after found guilty of hate crimes

ANI | Updated: Mar 08, 2018 05:56 IST

London [UK], Mar 08 (ANI): Two leaders from Britain's far-right political group, Britain First, have been sentenced to jail after they were found guilty of promoting anti-Muslim sentiments in the country.

Paul Golding, former EDL, National Front and British National Party member and currently the leader of Britain First and Deputy Jayda Fransen were sentenced to 18 and 36 weeks in prison respectively.

According to The Guardian, their actions were against three Muslim men and a teenager, who were on trial at the Canterbury Crown Court for raping a 16-year-old.

"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 prosecutor told the court.

They were arrested in May last 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.

On Wednesday, the judge Justin Barron said Golding and Fransen's 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 [Canterbury] case for their own political ends. It was a campaign to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants," he added.

Fransen was charged with four counts of religiously aggravated harassment, and Golding faced three counts.(ANI)