Far-right terrorist Thomas Mair murdered Labour MP Jo Cox during the EU referendum campaign (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)
Elham Asaad Buaras
Far-right terrorist Thomas Mair was jailed for life on November 23 for the brutal murder of Labour MP Jo Cox during the EU referendum campaign.
Mair, 53, struck on June 16 after Cox got out of her car in Birstall, a small market town in West Yorkshire that was part of her Batley and Spen constituency.
The Old Bailey heard how Mair, who refused to enter a plea, shouted, “This is for Britain”, “keep Britain independent”, and “Britain first” as he shot the mother of two twice in the head and once in the chest with a sawn-off hunting rifle before stabbing her 15 times.
Far Right motivation
Justice Wilkie said Cox’s murder was committed to advance a cause associated with Nazism.
The judge told Mair, “It is evident from your internet searches that your inspiration is…an admiration for Nazis and similar anti-democratic white supremacist creeds.”
Evidence quickly gathered by police, including books found at Mair’s home and an examination of his online activities, showed him to be obsessed with the Nazis, notions of white supremacy and apartheid-era South Africa.
Police later found a Third Reich eagle with a swastika on his bookshelf, a library of far-right literature, including books on the Nazis and white supremacism.
Examination of his browsing history revealed that he had been searching for material about the British National Party, apartheid, the KKK, prominent Jewish people, Israel, and matricide.
He underwent an examination by a psychiatrist, who could find no evidence that he was not responsible for his actions as a consequence of poor mental health.
Mair was also found guilty of possession of a firearm and dagger with intent and of grievous bodily harm against a passerby, Bernard Carter-Kenny, a retired coal miner who was stabbed when he came to Cox’s aid.
Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said the murder was a “shocking and senseless” attack on the values of democracy and tolerance. “I am determined that we challenge extremism in all its forms including the evil of far-right extremism and the terrible damage it can cause to individuals, families, and communities.”
Sue Hemming, Head of Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mair has offered no explanation for his actions but the prosecution was able to demonstrate that, motivated by hate, his premeditated crimes were nothing less than acts of terrorism designed to advance his twisted ideology.”
Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, told the court that Mair had committed a terrorism offence when he murdered Cox, although the jury had not been told that he was regarded as a terrorist during the trial as it was not asked to consider his motivation.
Whittam said: “Thomas Mair’s intention was to kill [Mrs Cox] in what was a planned and pre-meditated murder for a political and/or ideological cause.”
Speaking from the witness box after the verdict had been announced, Cox’s husband Brendon said, “The killing of Jo was in my view a political act, an act of terrorism.”
“But in the history of such acts, it was perhaps the most incompetent and self-defeating. An act driven by hatred, which instead has created an outpouring of love. An act designed to drive communities apart which has instead pulled them together. An act designed to silence a voice which instead has allowed millions of others to hear it. Jo is no longer with us, but her love, her example, and her values live on.”