Roache’s heartache

Coventry Telegraph - - NATIONAL - MP Rosie Cooper

CORONA­TION Street star Bill Roache has spo­ken of his heartache at the death of his on-screen wife Anne Kirk­bride.

Roach, left, said: “An­nie was frail, but all I could see was her beauty.” A MEM­BER of the banned neo-Nazi group Na­tional Ac­tion plot­ted to mur­der an MP for “White Ji­had”, a court has heard.

Jack Ren­shaw, 23, of Skelmers­dale, Lan­cashire, bought a 19inch long Gla­dius Machete to kill Labour’s Rosie Cooper last sum­mer.

Af­ter­wards, he planned to take hostages to lure a po­lice of­fi­cer to the scene so he could kill her too, jurors heard.

He was given the bless­ing of Na­tional Ac­tion leader Christo­pher Lyth­goe at a meet­ing in a War­ring­ton pub, the Old Bai­ley heard. Lyth­goe al­legedly told him: “Don’t f*** it up.”

The mur­der­ous scheme was foiled by dis­en­chanted for­mer Na­tional Ac­tion mem­ber Rob­bie Mullen, who re­ported the threat to Hope Not Hate, jurors were told.

On the open­ing day of his trial, Ren­shaw pleaded guilty to pre­par­ing acts of ter­ror­ism as well as mak­ing a threat to kill De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Vic­to­ria Hen­der­son.

But he de­nies be­ing a mem­ber of Na­tional Ac­tion, along with Lyth­goe and four other men.

Pros­e­cu­tor Dun­can Atkin­son QC told jurors: “It is im­por­tant to recog­nise from the out­set that these de­fen­dants are not be­ing pros­e­cuted for their racist or neoNazi be­liefs, how­ever re­pul­sive they may be, but for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in a banned or­gan­i­sa­tion that sought ac­tively through fear, in­tim­i­da­tion and the threat of vi­o­lence rather than through free speech and democ­racy to shape so­ci­ety.”

The court heard how they were part of the North West area branch of Na­tional Ac­tion, which met at the Friar Pen­keth pub in War­ring­ton.

In the wake of its sup­port for the mur­der of Labour MP Jo Cox, the or­gan­i­sa­tion be­came the first ex­treme right-wing group to be pro­scribed since the Sec­ond World War.

Lyth­goe al­legedly re­solved to con­tinue Na­tional Ac­tion af­ter the ban in De­cem­ber 2016, say­ing in an e-mail: “We are just shed­ding one skin for an­other.”

Mr Atkin­son said Ren­shaw’s vi­o­lent plan was hatched fol­low­ing his ar­rest in Jan­uary last year on sus­pi­cion of stir­ring up racial ha­tred.

He was in­ter­viewed by Det Con Hen­der­son about two anti-Semitic speeches in Black­pool and at the York­shire Fo­rum for Na­tion­al­ists in which he claimed “Hitler was right”.

An anal­y­sis of his phone later re­vealed what po­lice con­sid­ered ev­i­dence of child sex of­fences and he was in­ter­viewed again by Det Con Hen­der­son, jurors heard.

Lyth­goe, 32, from War­ring­ton, de­nies giv­ing Ren­shaw per­mis­sion to mur­der the West Lan­cashire MP on be­half of Na­tional Ac­tion on July 1 last year.

The pair – along with Gar­ron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Mersey­side, Matthew Hankinson, 24, of New­ton-le-Wil­lows, Mersey­side, An­drew Clarke, 33, and Michal Tru­bini, 35, both of War­ring­ton – also deny mem­ber­ship of the banned far right group.

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