Thomas Mair jailed for life after guilty verdict for murdering Jo Cox MP

Slain MP's killer declined to give evidence in his defence


Thomas Mair has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Jo Cox MP a week before the EU referendum.

Mair shot and stabbed to death the 41-year-old Labour MP for Batley and Spen outside her constituency office in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on June 16, shouting far-right nationalist slogans.

He was found guilty of murder earlier today before receiving a rare ‘whole life’ prison sentence, as was issued to Michael Adebolajo in 2014 for the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Jo Cox’s death shocked the country, with tributes for her public service and humanitarian work, in particular for refugees and people in Syria.

A fund set up in her name by widower Brendan has to date raised nearly £2 million for The Royal Voluntary Service, Hope Not Hate and The White Helmets.

Mair had entered a not guilty plea but chose not to give evidence in his defence. He is due to be sentenced and will likely receive a lengthy term in prison.

Brendan, Jo’s parents, Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, and her sister, Kim, were all in court for the verdict.

Speaking to the BBC, Brendan said:

“He said, I think at the time, that he did what he did for Britain, and I think that Britain would be ashamed of him, and I think that Britain is very proud of Jo, and I’d like everyone to know that.”

During the trial, the court heard how Jo had tried to protect her colleagues and members of the public during the attack.

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.”

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.

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

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