Far right boss found guilty under old law
The leader of far right extremist group Britain First has vowed to hold more anti-Islamic protests after escaping jail for wearing a '˜political uniform'.
Paul Golding, 34, was prosecuted for wearing a green fleece and black beanie hat which featured his group’s logo during a protest in a predominately Muslim area of Luton in January.
He walked free from court in the town on Friday with a £450 fine and said: “Let the fun and games begin. You can expect more and more protests in Luton as a result.”
Golding was arrested after a heated confrontation during a protest in the Bury Park area of the Bedfordshire town on January 23.
Many of the area’s Muslim residents were upset and Golding was arrested and charged under Public Order Act 1936 for wearing a political uniform.
The law forbids radical groups openly wearing clothes that blatantly identify with extremist politics.
Prosecutor Michael Gallacher said: “Residents recognised the uniform and found it quite intimidating and as a result there was various abuse towards the group, which got quite heated.
“He is known as the leader of the group, which makes him more culpable.”
Golding, of Luton, pleaded guilty to the offence but his lawyer Richard Hawgood told the court: “He saw it as engaging in normal political activity and not direct action.
“His part in the protest is pretty benign. He had also made overtures to calm the situation and cooperated with the police when they arrived.”
The Public Order Act 1936 was passed primarily to curb the activities of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.
It has been rarely used recently and Golding is believed to be the first person convicted under it in decades.