The leader and deputy leader of far-right group Britain First have been jailed after launching a “political campaign” in which Muslims were branded paedophiles and rapists.
Paul Golding, 36, and Jayda Fransen, 32, both of Penge, south-east London, were found guilty at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday of religiously-aggravated harassment. They were arrested on May 10 last year in an investigation into the distribution of leaflets and online videos during an on-going trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Three Muslim men and a teenager were later jailed for raping a 16-year-old girl in a flat above the 555 Pizza takeaway in Ramsgate, Kent.
Judge Justin Barron convicted Fransen of three charges and Golding of one charge.
Sentencing Fransen to 36 weeks and Golding for 18 weeks in jail, he said the crimes were “deliberately planned against targeted victims”.
The court descended into chaos as Judge Barron attempted to continue his sentence and impose restraining orders so the pair could not contact victims and witnesses in the case.
But Fransen spoke over him and said: “This is a very sad day for British justice. Everything I did was for the children of this country and they are worth it.”
This caused cheers and applause to erupt from the public gallery as the pair were led away and Judge Barron temporarily left the courtroom before concluding his directions.
As supporters left the courtroom they hurled abuse at court staff and members of the press, branding the proceedings a “shambles” and shouting: “No surrender.”
They added: “If we say anything these days we get sent to prison.”