Jury con­victs Thomas Mair of mur­der­ing Bri­tish MP Jo Cox

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

A white su­prem­a­cist who shot and stabbed a pro-Euro­pean UK law­maker while shout­ing “Bri­tain first” was con­victed of mur­der by a jury on yes­ter­day.

Judge Alan Wilkie sen­tenced Thomas Mair to life with­out pa­role for killing Jo Cox, in what pros­e­cu­tors called an act of ter­ror­ism.

The 41-year-old Labour mem­ber of Par­lia­ment was at­tacked in June out­side a li­brary as she pre­pared to meet res­i­dents of the area she rep­re­sented in north­ern Eng­land.

The mur­der, a week be­fore Bri­tain’s ref­er­en­dum on Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship, shocked the coun­try. Cox was the first Bri­tish law­maker killed in of­fice in a quar­ter of a cen­tury.

Ju­rors at Lon­don’s Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court de­lib­er­ated for less than two hours be­fore unan­i­mously find­ing 53-year-old Mair guilty of fir­ing three shots at Cox with a sawn-off .22 ri­fle and stab­bing her 15 times.

The de­fen­dant did not vis­i­bly re­act as he was con­victed of mur­der­ing Cox and wound­ing 77year-old Bernard Kenny, a passer-by who was stabbed as he tried to stop the at­tack. Mair was also found guilty of hav­ing a gun and a dag­ger.

Cox had been a prom­i­nent voice ar­gu­ing for Bri­tain to re­main in the EU, dur­ing a di­vi­sive and of­ten an­gry ref­er­en­dum cam­paign that fo­cused heav­ily on the is­sue of im­mi­gra­tion.

At his first court hear­ing, Mair gave his name as “death to traitors, free­dom for Bri­tain.” Pros­e­cu­tors said his home was full of Nazi lit­er­a­ture and mem­o­ra­bilia, and his com­puter re­vealed an in­ter­est in far right, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi pol­i­tics.

Ju­rors were told that Mair had pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers pre­sented no ev­i­dence in his de­fense.

Mair, who did not speak dur­ing his trial, asked to ad­dress the court af­ter the ver­dict. The judge re­fused.

Wilkie said the mur­der had been car­ried out to ad­vance a po­lit­i­cal cause “of vi­o­lent white supremacism as­so­ci­ated with Nazism.”

He said Mair pre­tended to be a pa­triot — but that Jo Cox was the true pa­triot.

Sue Hem­ming, head of spe­cial crime and counter-ter­ror­ism at the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice, said Mair’s crimes “were noth­ing less than acts of ter­ror­ism de­signed to ad­vance his twisted ide­ol­ogy.”

Cox’s wid­ower Bren­dan Cox told the court the fam­ily did not seek ret­ri­bu­tion against her killer.

“We feel noth­ing but pity for him that his life was so de­void of love and filled with ha­tred, his only way of find­ing mean­ing was to at­tack a woman who rep­re­sented all that was good about the coun­try in an act of supreme cow­ardice,” Cox said.

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