Far-right Britain First leader Paul Golding spared jail... but fined for his ‘intimidating’ fleece
Far-right Britain First leader Paul Golding was convicted for the second time and fined £450 for wearing illegal attire, but was spared a jail sentence of up to three months.
Golding pleaded guilty to “wearing a uniform with political objectives,” banned under the Public Order Act 1936, a law designed to tackle Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, the ‘Blackshirts’.
Golding’s dark green Britain First fleece was described as “intimidating” after he wore it to one of the group’s ‘Christian patrols’ through Bury Park, Luton. The 34-year-old was arrested in February by Bedfordshire Police.
Together with his deputy, Jayda Fransen, Golding has since been banned from the “entire town” of Luton. This was Golding’s second infraction of this kind, as the fascist sympathizer had already been convicted in 2015 for wearing a Britain First jacket.
Britain First ‘patrols’ see a dozen activists in the same green fleeces, hoodies and beanies with the party’s insignia march around Britain’s Muslim neighborhoods, storm into mosques or hand out Islamophobic literature.
Golding himself has been pictured carrying a giant Christian cross while leading the ‘patrol’.
At Luton Magistrates’ Court, Golding and his group were accused of attempting to provoke town residents. The defense believed the protests were “pretty benign.”
Local authorities said the group’s activities had cost “hundreds of thousands of pounds” to local business and that residents had suffered from “harassment, alarm and distress.”
After the judgement and lifting of his bail conditions, Golding said he would return to Luton soon for more of the party’s actions.
“I said to Luton Police, ‘There’s nothing stopping me now coming with 50 of our activists to Luton or to Bury Park,’ so now the fun and games will begin,” he told supporters in a video published after the hearing.
Golding said the police attempted to restrict his freedom of speech under the long-standing act as he was prohibited to enter Luton for over five months as part of his bail conditions.
Fransen will also appear in court later this month, challenging attempts by the police to institute a longer ban on Britain First from activities across the country.
Bedfordshire Police were hoping to place an injunction on the pair that would forbid them from entering any mosque in England and Wales.