UK far-right group leader charged with terror offence
The leader of the far-right Britain First group was charged with a terror offence on Friday. Paul Golding, 38, refused to give police access and passwords to his phone and electronic devices. He was charged with refusing to comply with Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Feb. 27.
Paul Golding, leader of British far-right group Britain First, has been charged with an offence under the Terrorism Act, which the BBC reported stemmed from refusing to provide police with the pin code to his phone at the airport.
London's Metropolitan Police said Golding, 38, was charged "with wilfully failing to comply with a duty" under the so-called schedule 7 powers in the terrorism law, which give police the authority to search travellers at borders and makes it a crime to fail to comply.
The BBC said he had refused to provide the pin codes to access to his phone in October when he was stopped by police at Heathrow Airport on his way back from Russia.
He was charged by earlier this month and will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Feb. 27, said the police.
Schedule 7 gives police the power to search, detain, and interrogate people coming into the U.K. for up to six hours. It gives police time to decide whether the person is preparing or instigating terrorist acts.
Golding said in a statement that the charges were an "abuse of legislation" and that he was not a terrorist.
Britain First is well known in the U.K. for anti-Islam outbursts, anti-mosque protests, and street and online provocations. It was founded by former members of the British National Party in 2011.
Golding and his former deputy Jayda Fransen were been arrested numerous times and both received convictions.