The Labour MP Jo Cox was shot three times and stabbed repeatedly in a pre-planned murder with a political motive, the trial of the accused man has been told.
Thomas Mair, the alleged killer of Cox, repeatedly shouted “Britain First” as he killed the Labour MP a week before the EU referendum, the court heard.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors that Cox was killed because of her political beliefs. He told jurors:
“As she arrived she was brutally murdered by one of her constituents, this defendant, Thomas Mair.
It was a cowardly attack by a man armed with a firearm and a knife. Jo Cox was shot three times and suffered multiple stab wounds.
During the course of the murder Thomas Mair was heard by a number of witnesses to say repeatedly ‘Britain First'”.
The court heard that Mair also stabbed 77-year-old Bernard Carter-Kenny whilst he tried to save Cox.
Whitman then added:
“The murder took place whilst she was performing her role as a Member of Parliament. Thomas Mair’s intention was to kill her in what was a planned and premeditated murder for a political and/or ideological cause.”
He later revealed that, prior killing the Labour MP, Mair was actively searching the web for Nazi and Ku Klux Klan propaganda in the days before killing Cox.
Jurors at the Old Bailey were also told that Mair used his local library to research Cox, fellow Yorkshire MP William Hague and Ian Gow, a MP murdered by the Provisional IRA.
Whitman also said that the attack on June 16 in Birstall, West Yorkshire, came just a week before the EU referendum which may have contributed to the death of Cox.
She was well-known for her position in favour of Remain during the EU referendum and was a vocal campaigner.
All of this seems to suggest that Mair planned to kill Cox days before, and that the murder was politically motivated.
Mair is alleged to have killed Cox when she was on her way to a meeting with voters in his home town, Birstall, in Yorkshire.
Mair denies murder and pleads not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Carter-Kenny.
Cox was 41 when she died, and had two children, then aged five and three.
The trial continues.