Britain First leaders to stand trial in April

Britain First Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen
Britain First Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen

The leaders of far-right group Britain First will stand trial in April for allegedly inciting hatred at a rally in Belfast, it was confirmed on Friday.

Paul Golding and his deputy Jayda Fransen are among four people facing prosecution over speeches outside City Hall.

A prosecution lawyer told Belfast Magistrates’ Court: “The contest is fixed for April 6, there are no issues and all witnesses are confirmed.”

The case relates to speeches made at a ‘Northern Ireland Against Terrorism’ rally in August last year.

Demonstrators had gathered on the same day as a republican march organised to mark the use of internment without trial by the British Army at the height of the Troubles in 1971.

Golding, 35, and Fransen, 31, are charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words.

They allegedly intended to stir up hatred or arouse fear by his comments, according to the police case.

Similar charges have also been brought against 60-year-old John Banks, of Acacia Road in Doncaster, south Yorkshire, and Paul Rimmer, 55, of Modred Street in Liverpool.

All four accused deny the allegations against them.

None of the four defendants were present in court as it was revealed that the trial is expected to last for a full day.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey requested a further review hearing next month to check on requested disclosure.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall again excused the accused from attending at that stage.