According to reports by the BBC and The Independent, the deputy leader of Britain First, Jayda Fransen, has been found guilty at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court of religiously aggravated harassment after she abused a Muslim woman, Sumayyah Sharpe, who was wearing a hijab. Britain First describes itself as “a patriotic political party and street movement that opposes and fights the many injustices that are routinely inflicted on the British people”.
Ms Fransen was fined £1,000 for religiously aggravated harassment and £200 for wearing a political uniform: a green coat with a Britain First lapel badge and a black beanie hat bearing the party’s emblem. She was also ordered to pay £620 in costs and a £100 surcharge and issued with a two-year restraining order to prevent her from contacting the victim. The incident took place during a so-called “Christian patrol” of Bury Park in Luton, on Saturday 23 January.
She admitted telling Ms Sharpe that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid being raped “because they cannot control their sexual urges”, adding “that’s why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent”. At her trial, she denied that the words were intended to be offensive, claiming that she understood them to be true. District Judge Carolyn Mellanby said that she had no doubt the words used towards Ms Sharpe were offensive, insulting, abusive and intended to cause offence and alarm and distress to her religion.