MP Jo Cox killer found guilty of murder

MP Jo Cox killer found guilty of murder
3 min read
23 November, 2016
A UK court has found Thomas Mair guilty of murder, following the killing of British MP Jo Cox during campaigning for the EU referendum.
Jo Cox was murdered in June during the EU referendum campaign [Getty]

The killer of British MP Jo Cox has been found guilty of murder by the central criminal court in London.

The jury at London's Old Bailey convicted Thomas Mair, 53, of shooting and stabbing the mother-of-two as she arrived at a library in Birstall, northern England, to meet with her constituents on 16 June.

Far-right extremist Mair shot and stabbed Cox a week before the EU referendum leading to her death shortly after.

Cox's husband saying the murder was politically motivated and an act of terrorism.

"Because she was a member of parliament your crime has an additional dimension that calls for particular punishment," judge Alan Wilkie told Thomas Mair, 53, as he issued the rare "whole life term" punishment.

"There is no doubt it was done to further a political motive."

The jury at London's central criminal court convicted Mair of shooting and stabbing the mother-of-two as she arrived at a library in Birstall, northern England, to meet her constituents on June 16.

Mair showed no emotion as the sentence was read out.

The court earlier heard that Mair shouted "Britain first" as he fired three shots at the lawmaker and stabbed her 15 times.

Following the verdict, Cox's husband Brendan called the murder "a political act and an act of terrorism." 

"We have no interest in the perpetrator, we only feel pity for him," he added. "Jo was interested in everybody, driven not by her ego but her desire to help."

Cox was a keen supporter of the Syrian opposition and outspoken in her criticism of Bashar al-Assad.

Investigators found an extensive collection of books on German military history, the Holocaust and Nazi race theory and a statue of a bust of the eagle of Germany's Third Reich when they searched Mair's Birstall home.

Mair had also accessed the Wikipedia page of "far right" online publication Occidental Observer and the Twitter and Wikipedia pages for Cox. 

The court heard that Mair had asked the question "Is a .22 round deadly enough to kill with one shot to a human head?" during one internet search.

The killing of Cox, who had defended immigration and refugee rights, shocked the UK and led to a three-day suspension in campaigning ahead of the EU referendum one week later.

Mair denied Cox's murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon, but was found guilty on all counts having refused to present any evidence in his defence.

Cox's parents and sister were in court.

A 77-year-old local man, Bernard Carter-Kenny, was stabbed as he attempted to stop the attack.