White supremacist terrorist jailed for murdering Jo Cox MP

Thomas Mair, the killer of Jo Cox MP

The white supremacist terrorist Thomas Mair has been jailed for life after he was found guilty of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

The 53-year-old shot and stabbed to death Cox in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on 16 June.

Mair was also found guilty of having a firearm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to 78-year-old Bernard Kenny, who tried to help the MP, and having an offensive weapon, namely a dagger.

Mair did not enter a plea and chose not to give any evidence in his defence.

In sentencing, Judge Mr Justice Wilkie said Mair had affected to be a patriot, but Mrs Cox was, in the true meaning of the word, a patriot. He described her as a wonderful mother, sister, daughter and companion, with a generosity of spirit that was apparent even when faced by a violent death.

Jo Cox MP
Jo Cox MP

Judge Mr Justice Wilkie said the murder was carried out to advance a political cause of violent white supremacism, associated with Nazism.

The judge said he had concluded the offence was so exceptional that it has to be marked with a whole life sentence and Mair could only be released by the home secretary.

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“It is evident from your internet searches that your inspiration is not love of country, it is an admiration for Nazis and similar anti-democratic white supremacist creeds,” Wilkie said.

The Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: “Mair has offered no explanation for his actions but the prosecution was able to demonstrate that, motivated by hate, his pre-meditated crimes were nothing less than acts of terrorism designed to advance his twisted ideology.”

Although Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, told the court that Mair had committed a terrorism offence when he murdered Cox, he added that it had not been necessary to prosecute him as a terrorist.

There were two reasons for this. Mair was charged with murder, which is a crime under common law and not an offence under counter-terrorism legislation; and the jury was only to be asked to decide whether or not Mair had committed the crime of murder. It was not asked to consider his motivation.

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