PRISON ACTION HALTS MP JO MURDER TRIAL
THE trial of an alleged far-right extremist accused of murdering MP Jo Cox in a “cowardly” attack before the EU referendum campaign was brought to a halt due to prison officers’ action.
Thomas Mair, 53, is said to have repeatedly shot and stabbed the 41-year-old Labour politician ( left) outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on June 16.
The Old Bailey trial was yesterday due to hear the first witnesses in the case.
But trial judge Mr Justice Wilkie adjourned the case until this morning because Mair was not in the dock.
He said: “Members of the jury you will observe that the defendant is not in the dock and he will not be attending court today.
“The reason for this is there are circumstances at Belmarsh prison where he is currently residing – and I understand at prisons all over the country – which preclude bringing any prisoners to court for court hearings.
“The law is very clear that where, as here, a defendant does not attend his trial through no fault of his then in the absence of his consent...it is rarely ever appropriate for a trial to proceed in his absence.”
Mr Mair denies Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon – a dagger.
The trial continues.