The former leader of the far-right group Britain First, Paul Golding, has been jailed for eight weeks for his involvement in an attempted “mosque invasion”, the Daily Mirror reports.
Golding, 34, admitted breaching a High Court injunction not to enter a mosque or encourage others to do so.
He and his deputy Jayda Fransen were banned from entering all mosques in England and Wales by the High Court in August.
The pair were also barred from Luton town centre under the injunction after Bedfordshire Police argued they had caused “community tensions”.
Golding who recently stepped down as head of Britain First for family reasons, admitted contempt of court.
He stood against Sadiq Khan in May’s London mayoral elections earlier this year.
London’s High Court heard that nine days after the injunction was imposed, Golding drove four Britain First members to the Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff for a “mosque invasion”.
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Golding stayed outside and there was no violence but there was a verbal confrontation between his four colleagues and a mosque trustee.
James Weston, counsel for the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police who brought the committal application, said members of the mosque found the conduct provocative and unnerving and were concerned that it could have escalated if prayers had not been over.
Sentencing Golding yesterday, Judge Moloney said the breach was a “deliberate and cynical defiance” of the court’s order as well as an affront to the Muslim community, not merely in Cardiff but throughout the country where Britain First might circulate its propaganda.
The judge 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.”
Golding will serve four weeks of the sentence.
He made an unreserved apology for breaking the injunction but claimed he “did not understand the terms of the order”.