Britain First leader Paul Golding loses appeal against hate crime conviction
The leader of far-right political group Britain First has lost an appeal against a hate crime conviction.
Paul Golding, 38, was fined £1,000 by a judge in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, for possessing and distributing material intended to stir up hatred or arouse fear, according to Antrim Courthouse.
But the judge also removed the three-month prison sentence suspended for two years that Mr Golding received when he was initially convicted.
Britain First welcomed the news in a statement on its Telegram account, saying: “Paul is now free to be politically active in Ulster again without a suspended sentence hanging over his head”.
In a statement on its website, the group added that the result in court “was an operational victory for our movement in that we can now resume regular activities in this part of the United Kingdom.”
Mr Golding was originally arrested in October 2018 and convicted in June 2019.
A judge found that the material, which included a leaflet with the title ‘Stop the influx of migrants into Ballymena… now!’, met the criteria of being “abusive or insulting”.