The two heads of far-right group Britain First have been found guilty of religious hate crimes. Party leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen have been found guilty of four charges in total.
Golding, 36, and Fransen, 32, both of Penge, south-east London, stood trial in January at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court. They were charged with three and four counts respectively of hate crime.
Golding and Fransen were arrested over the distribution of leaflets and videos which were posted online during the trial of three Muslim men and a teen, all of whom were later convicted of rape and jailed.
The court heard how last year Fransen went to the home of one of the defendants, Tamin Rahmani, and shouted abuse through the front door. His partner, Best, said she was alone with their two children – aged 18 months and three years – when the incident happened.
The mother-of-two told the court that she blames Fransen for her daughter’s stillbirth. “She was making racist remarks: ‘Dirty Muslim rapist, come out, we’re not going to leave until you’re gone, come out. Dirty scumbags,’” Best said.
“It was directed at Tamin because she thought he was in there but he wasn’t… I was also pregnant at the time it happened, two days after I started to bleed heavily and lost my daughter; she was stillborn. I blame Jayda Fransen because there was no other reason for it to happen.”
Judge Justice Barron said their words and actions “demonstrated hostility” towards Muslims. Fransen was found guilty of three charges, while Golding was found guilty of only one charge. Other charges against the duo were dismissed.
“I have no doubt it was their joint intention to use the facts of the case (in Canterbury) for their own political ends,” the judge said. “It was a campaign to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants.”
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