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Jayda Fransen, Britain First Deputy Leader, Stands Trial For Religious Harassment

She could face 6 months in prison if convicted.

02/11/2016 12:01 | Updated 02 November 2016

Britain First’s deputy leader is standing trial today accused of religiously aggravated harassment during one of her group’s “Christian Patrols” earlier this year.

Jayda Fransen, 30, is also facing charges of failing to surrender as part of her bail conditions and the wearing of a political uniform.

She denies the charges and faces a fine or up to six months in prison if found guilty during the two-day trial at Luton Magistrates Court.

The alleged offences occurred in January of this year when about 20 members of the party, led by Paul Golding and Fransen, recorded themselves walking through Bury Park, an area they labelled an “Islamist hotspot”,

During the march they handed out newspapers and confronted local Muslims in what charity Tell Mama said was an “intimidating” fashion aimed at “inflaming” tensions.

 

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During the march Britain First wrote that it had faced “ferocious hostility from local Muslims”, and said their video was a “shocking look into the Islamisation of our beloved country”.

Its activists, the party said, were pelted with eggs and verbally abused by Muslims who claimed to have “taken over” Luton.

In an edition of “Jayda’s Soapbox” posted on Britain First’s Facebook page, Fransen defended herself ahead of the trial.

She said: “In less than one week I will be standing trial on three separate absurd charges related to our Christian patrol through Bury Park in January.

“It is clear that Luton police will stop at nothing to appease the militant Islamic community of Luton.

“Luton is a hotbed of extremism where British patriots are not welcome. On two occasions now I have been physically assaulted and verbally abused by Islamists in the town.

“This latest attack is being waged by police at the behest of local extremist Muslims working in tandem with treacherous Labour party councillors.

“None of the Muslim thugs who inflicted violence on myself and our activists have been arrested or charged.

“Why is it always one rule for us and one rule them?” 

Tell Mama said Britain First’s confrontations with locals are being used by the party to “create the notion of ‘them and us’. It said “predictably” young men took “the bait” in Luton, which led to Britain First activists “agitating and further adding to the growing tensions”.

Golding has already been fined £450 for “wearing a uniform with political objectives” under the Public Order Act 1936, a law originally enacted to tackle Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, also known as the ‘Blackshirts’.

Fransen continues: “One of the nonsensical charges being thrown at me is religiously aggravated harassment. You have all seen the video of a white Muslim convert calling me a slapper for not wearing a burqa and told me my country was no longer Christian.

Facebook
Fransen speaking in front of footage of herself brandishing a cross at a Muslim woman.

“Her Muslim husband even had the audacity to grab hold of me while she was waving her clenched fist in my face.

“Despite the whole confrontation being recorded and aired to millions of people worldwide, Luton police have pointed their guns at me.”

In August the High Court extended an interim civil injunction against Golding and Fransen, and forbids them from: 

(a) Entering any Mosque or Islamic Cultural Centre or its private grounds within England and Wales without prior written invitation.

(b) Being within a designated exclusion zone in the Bury Park area save unless that person remains at all times within a railway carriage travelling along the railroad adjoining Luton railway station.

(c)  Causing, permitting, encouraging or inciting any person to enter or remain in designated exclusion zone in the Bury Park area save unless that person remains at all times within a railway carriage travelling along the railroad adjoining Luton railway station.

(d) Publishing, broadcasting, distributing or displaying, or causing or encouraging to be published, broadcast, distributed or displayed, any images or films showing any person or event, on a date after the making of this order, within designated exclusion zones in the Bury Park and Town Centre areas.

(e) Entering a designated exclusion zone in the Town Centre area save in accordance with paragraph 1 (g) below.

(f) Causing, permitting, encouraging or inciting any person to enter or remain in the designated exclusion zone in the Town Centre area save in accordance with paragraph 1 (g) below.

(g) The Respondents are permitted to enter a designated area in the Town Centre for the purposes of, and only for the purposes of, attending hearings at Luton Magistrates Court and Luton Crown Court at which they are required to attend as defendants in criminal proceedings. They are also permitted to instruct legal representatives to attend such hearings. The Respondents must give the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police advanced written notice of all such attendances by 5pm on the working day before the relevant hearing.

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Mike Colbourne told The Huffington Post UK: “Applying for such an order is not a decision we take lightly, however we decided to take action following a number of incidents where these parties came into areas of Luton and caused community tensions.

“Luton is an incredibly diverse and vibrant town and we will not tolerate any individual who seeks to cause disharmony or provoke tensions within our communities.

“I would like to be clear that we would never seek to ban demonstrations or peaceful protest, however we have a duty to protect our communities and will always act in their best interests.”

 
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