Far-right Britain First leaders jailed for racist harassment
Two leaders of far-right group Britain First have been sentenced to jail after a campaign of hate against a group of British Muslims.
Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were the leader and deputy leader of the group, which has organised a wave of intimidating demonstrations against Muslims in towns and cities across the UK.
Jayda Fransen was sentenced to 36 weeks in jail for religiously-motivated harassment and Golding to 18 weeks behind bars.
It began when Fransen filmed a group of Muslim men she wrongly believed to be defendants in a rape trial, sharing the video on social media and drawing attention to their religion.
The anti-Islam pair led a campaign of harassment against the men, posting leaflets about them in their neighbourhoods.
The issue became a global story when one of Fransen's videos was shared by US President Donald Trump on Twitter who later claimed to have not known the background of the far-right hate group.
This led to a planned visit by the US president to the UK being cancelled after public outcry.
The judge ruled that the part had "demonstrated hostility" to Islam.
"I have no doubt it was their joint intention to use the facts of the case (in Canterbury) for their own political ends," Judge Justin Barron at Folkestone Magistrates' Court said.
"It was a campaign to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants."
The victims of the hate campaign were said to have suffered stress from the false allegations.