Paul Golding has been jailed for eight weeks after admitting breaching a High Court injunction that forbade him from entering any mosque in England and Wales without permission.
The former Britain First leader, 34, stepped down from his position at the helm of the far-right group last month, handing the role to deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, citing “personal family issues”.
He had pleaded guilty to the charge.
The group posted the news on their Facebook page, in a post that wrongly called Golding “Britain First leader”.
In sentencing Golding, Judge Moloney said: “There can be no doubt that he thereby broke the injunction by instructing or encouraging those men to enter the mosque.
“Such an injunction is granted to prevent serious anti-social behaviour. This particular injunction was granted not merely to protect certain individuals but to preserve public order in the widest sense and throughout the country.
“The conduct restrained was by its nature of an extreme kind, calculated to increase tensions between different members of the community of this country, particularly to affront the Muslim community in relation to their religion.
“Such conduct was plainly calculated to give rise to the risk of provocation and violence and further extremism and tension on all sides of the community.
“These are most serious matters at the present time.”
Many of their supporters were angry at the verdict.
Others, not so much.
Actaul leader, Jayda Fransen, released a video from outside the High Court expressing her outrage at the verdict.
She says: “I’ve got some really shocking news to report.
“Britain First leader [again, incorrect], Paul Golding has just been committed to prison.
“The reason being? Because he confronted an imam in Britain who said it’s OK for Muslims to keep sex slaves.”
The jailing is actually because of an order originating from a “Christian patrol” they performed in Bury Park, Luton, in January of this year.
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.
As a result, 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.
Bedfordshire Police claimed Golding breached the order during an incident in Cardiff on 20 August.
The incident in question saw the Al-Manar Islamic Centre in Cathays lodge a complaint after members of Britain First accused an Imam of being a “radical preacher”.
Golding insists he did not breach the injunction as he did not himself enter the mosque.
He has already been fined £450 in relation to the Luton march 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’.