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.
Fransen, who lives near South Norwood in south London, is accused of telling Ms Sumayyah 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.
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 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.
“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”.
She added: “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.
Fransen was elected deputy leader of Britain First in the autumn of 2014.
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.