Jayda Fransen, 30, is alleged to have launched a tirade of abuse at Sumayyah Sharpe during a Britain First ‘patrol’
The deputy leader of far-right group Britain First hurled abuse at a Muslim woman for wearing a hijab while brandishing a white cross in front of her four young children, a court has heard.
Jayda Fransen, 30, is alleged to have launched a tirade of abuse at Sumayyah Sharpe during a Britain First ‘patrol’ of Bury Park in Luton at around 1pm on Saturday January 23.
Fransen, who lives near South Norwood in south London, is accused of telling Ms Sharpe that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid them being raped ‘because they cannot control their urges’, Luton and Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court heard.
The group also shouted that Mohammed is a ‘false prophet’ in a video that was later viewed on YouTube millions of time, filmed during what they called a ‘Christian patrol’.
Fransen was elected deputy leader of Britain First in the autumn of 2014 and has pictures of herself and leader Paul Golding holding crosses on her public Facebook page.
She denies one charge of religiously aggravated assault, one count of failure to surrender to police bail and one count of wearing a political uniform.
Ms Sharpe was shopping with her children when she noticed members of the far-right group handing out Britain First newspapers to passers-by.
The front page read ‘World War Three has begun – Islam against the world’, prosecutor Kirsty Allman told the court.
Ms Sharpe said she refused to accept the newspaper, telling the group it represented ‘everything against me and what I believe in’.
She said it was at this point that Fransen crossed the road and confronted her. The incident was captured by on camera by members of Britain First.
‘She came across, shouting at me, saying “Why are you covered?” and she said that quite a few times. I told her it was my choice that I cover,’ Ms Sharpe told the court.
Ms Sharpe was shopping with her children when she was accosted by Franson, who was holding a white cross, as the group gave out newspapers to passers-by
Fransen is accused of telling Ms Sharpe that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid them being raped ‘because they cannot control their urges’
‘I then turned to the camera and I said “Film me, I’m British, I’m a British Muslim. It’s my choice to wear this clothing and it’s my right,'”
She added: ‘I called her a slapper, I admit, and I told her to p*** off because I was so angry at that point that she had done that in front of my children.’
In video footage shot by members of Britain First and shown to the court, Fransen could be heard shouting: ‘Your men say you have to cover yourself to avoid you being raped.’
Members of the far-Right group confronted Muslim women and branded Mohammed a ‘false prophet’ as they staged bizarre demonstration in Luton
She also shouted: ‘You are being hidden because your men cannot control their urges.’
Ms Allman, prosecuting, said Fransen also told Ms Sharpe: ‘That’s why they are coming to my country and raping women.’
Ms Sharpe said she later had to explain to her children what rape was, and that her four-year-old son was now scared to leave the house in case they ran into the group again.
Reflecting on her feelings following the incident, she said: ‘I did cry a little bit but it was more because I did not believe that British people could act like this really.’