Britain First leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen have been jailed for religiously aggravated harassment following a trial at Folkestone Magistrates Court.
The pair had targeted several people they incorrectly believed were part of a rape investigation.
Fransen was jailed for 36 weeks after she was convicted of three counts and Golding for 18 weeks for one count. The sentence comes two years after the pair were banned from Luton and attending any mosque in the country after a successful High Court injuction by Beds Police.
Peter Adams, of St Mary’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in Luton, tweeted: “Pleased to see Britain First’s Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment. Clearly they have not learnt after their lessons after such a horrible demonstration of bigotry and hatred in Luton two years ago.
“To the very large number of people who are saying they are being persecuted, no. They were breaking the law and they are going to pay for it because that is a core British value. They are not defending Britain but rather betraying it.”
Darren Carroll, former member of the English Defence League and uncle of founder Tommy Robinson, added: “Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen do not represent the British people, their conviction demonstrates they don’t care about improving people’s lives and treat those around them as pawns to promote their own agenda.
“As one of the first supporters of the EDL myself, I know first-hand how groups like Britain First prey on people’s fears to spread hatred. I walked away from the EDL because understanding is only achieved through dialogue and engagement between communities, which remains as relevant as ever.
“The bonds we build with one another, regardless of faith, colour or creed are what makes our nation unique. I hope the sentences they receive reflect their crimes and demonstrate that British society does not tolerate hatemongers.”