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Trial involving leaders of far-right group Britain First put back to the autumn

Britain First leader Paul Golding and party deputy Jayda Fransen at court in Belfast last year

A TRIAL involving the leaders of far-right group Britain First for allegedly inciting hatred in Belfast has been put back to the autumn.

Proceedings against Paul Golding and his deputy Jayda Fransen were plunged into doubt following their imprisonment in England.

A hearing scheduled for last month at Belfast Magistrates' Court had to be postponed when the pair were convicted and jailed for religiously aggravated harassment in a separate case.

A new date in September has now been secured for the trial involving Golding, Fransen and two other defendants.

But defence lawyers are still seeking clarity around contact permitted between the Britain First leaders before the hearing gets underway.

Golding (36) and Fransen (32) are being prosecuted over speeches delivered outside Belfast City Hall.

The case relates to a 'Northern Ireland Against Terrorism' rally in August last year.

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

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.

Doubts about the trial being able to go ahead first emerged when Golding and Fransen were convicted and jailed Folkestone Magistrates' Court in March over unrelated charges.

Fransen was handed a 36-week sentence while Golding received 18 weeks.

The new contest date in Belfast has been fixed to ensure both have completed their prison terms.

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