Britain First Leader Faces Charges Under UK Terrorism Act in Westminster Magistrate’s Court

UK

In 2018, Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were convicted on multiple counts of religiously-aggravated harassment against Muslims, following a trial at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court. Golding and Fransen were sentenced to 18 and 36 weeks respectively.

Paul Golding, the leader of the right-nationalist Britain First, is due to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 21 February on charges of violating the Terrorism Act 2000.

In October 2019 Golding allegedly refused to provide authorities the PIN to access a number of his electronic devices, after being stopped at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act. Schedule 7 permits police to detain and question people for up to six hours. Golding, who was returning from visiting the Russian parliament at the time he was stopped, called the charges “an abuse of the legislation”, according to news reports.

Refusal to answer questions and refusal to provide access to electronic devices is considered to be an automatic offence under the Act. Under this law a person must also permit a photograph of them to be taken, provide a DNA sample, and agree to a search of their belongings if asked to do so. Devices can also be retained by police for up to seven days, without the need of a warrant. No proof of criminal activity or wrongdoing is required in order for an officer to initiate a Schedule 7 stop.

Human rights group CAGE, which specialises in dealing with terrorism…

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