The deputy leader of far-right group Britain First has been found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment after hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab in front of her four young children.
Jayda Fransen, 30, was fined nearly £2,000 at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates' Court for wearing a political uniform and shouting at Sumayyah Sharpe during a "Christian patrol" of Bury Park in Luton on Saturday January 23.
Fransen admitted telling Sharpe that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid being raped "because they cannot control their sexual urges", adding "that's why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent".
She denied the words were intended to be offensive.
District Judge Carolyn Mellanby said she believed the group had gone to the area "looking for trouble" - but that Sharpe had been mistaken as an "easy target".
"I have no doubt the words used towards her (Sharpe), in her expression, represented everything against her and what she believes in," she said.
"In other words, offensive, insulting, abusive and, in my judgment, intended to cause offence and alarm and distress to her religion."
In video footage shown to court, Fransen was seen brandishing a white cross as she shouted at Sharpe after she refused to take a newspaper being handed out by the group which had a front page reading "World War Three has begun - Islam against the world".
Following the incident, Sharpe said she had to go home and explain the meaning of the word rape to her young children. She also told the court her four-year-old son was now scared to leave the house in case they ran into the group.