'Britain First' leader arrested in connection with Belfast rally

PA Wire  PA Images                   Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen arriving at court on Thursday morning

PA Wire PA Images Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen arriving at court on Thursday morning

Paul Golding, 35, was accompanying Ms Fransen to her court appearance when he was arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

A police spokesman said: "Detectives investigating speeches made at the Northern Ireland Against Terrorism Rally on Sunday 6th August this year have arrested a 35-year-old man today ... in the Belfast area".

The 31-year-old faces two counts of behaviour intending or likely to stir up hatred or fear by using words which were "threatening, abusive or insulting".

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Ms Fransen spoke only once in the dock - to confirm she understood the charges against her.

Britain First opposes multiculturalism and what it calls the "Islamization" of Britain.

"We have concerns there would be further offences and also concerns about public order", the detective said. Defence counsel Richard McConkey confirmed she will be fighting the allegations.

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Fransen's lawyer said: "The idea that she be prevented from speaking, in my respectful submission, is completely disproportionate". This might be my last video.

Ms Fransen, who gained worldwide notoriety after her Islamophobic tweets were shared by Donald Trump, claimed Mr Goulding was arrested on "trumped-up charges". She instead told Fransen she must not go within 500 metres of any demonstration or parade in Northern Ireland.

However, a judge did not impose restrictions on her use of social media. - despite concerns raised by police. Detectives then made the arrest after Fransen completed her formalities. During the video post she criticised Islam. A small group of protestors voiced their objections in the court foyer and outside, with one man telling police: "It's a disgrace what you're doing".

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