Justice Politics

Thomas Mair trial: court hears distressing details of Cox attack

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A court heard on Thursday 17 November how reported right-wing extremist Thomas Mair allegedly waved a knife at onlookers and shouted they had “better move back” while he was attacking Labour MP Jo Cox.

Mair is accused of repeatedly stabbing and shooting the mother-of-two and Remain campaigner a week before the EU referendum.

Cox was attacked outside her constituency surgery in Birstall and in front of her staff.

Amongst the witnesses giving their statements today, taxi driver Rashid Hussain provided more details on how Mair allegedly killed the Labour MP. As he was giving his fare her change, he heard what sounded like “firecracker”, jurors were told.

Hussain said:

“I just gave the change back and then because everybody was going towards the library I parked my car there.

I walked towards the entrance and see the guy stabbing somebody… behind the car. He was just standing up and he was in the road.”

He then added:

“When I reached near, he stepped back. I said: “What are you doing, what’s wrong with you?”

He said: “Move back, otherwise I’m going to stab you”. He was standing there with two ladies and another man. He said I had “better move back”.

He shot twice. He moved back and shot again.”

Another eyewitness, Steve Connolly, also came out of the library when he heard shouting, and saw Cox being shot in the head.

“He very coldly walked away”, the Old Bailey heard.

Connolly then told jurors:

“Shock kicked in, I don’t really think in that split second anyone really knew what was happening. You expect things like that to happen in the city, not to happen in a small town in West Yorkshire.”

The court also heard on Wednesday how Cox’s political aides Sandra Major and Fazila Aswat had tried to protect her as she was being attacked.

When Mair allegedly left the Labour MP lying on the ground bleeding to death, Aswat cradled Cox whilst she was still alive.

She then tried to protect Cox against her attacker, and swung her handbag at Mair when he returned. But the courageous Labour MP told her staff to protect themselves and said:

“Get away you two – let him hurt me”.

Mair, from Birstall, who had allegedly researched far-right and extremists group online, including the KKK and a self-identified Nazi group days before Cox’s murder, denies killing the Labour MP.

He also denies stabbing Carter-Kenny.

The trial continues.


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