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Right-wing and Britain First extremist up in court for Jo Cox's murder

MP Jo Cox's murder 'was political': the right wing killer 'looked up Nazi material online the night before he shot her three times and stabbed her as he repeatedly shouted "Britain First", he was also a UKIP supporter.
Thomas Mair, 53, ambushed the mother-of-two outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, just days before the EU referendum in June.

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Thomas Mair with right wing extremists Britain First.

The Old Bailey was told how Mair allegedly attacked the 41-year-old - a fervent Remain supporter - because of his 'strong political and ideological interests'.
Mair is alleged to have shouted 'Britain First, this is for Britain, Britain will always come first' as he stabbed Mrs Cox and shot her with a .22 calibre handgun in the 'cowardly and sustained' attack.

CCTV played to the jury also showed Mair in a library the night before the killing where he allegedly researched the Ku Klux Klan, right-wing politicians and Hitler's notorious Waffen SS. 

He also looked up William Hague - another prominent Yorkshire-based Remain campaigner - and Ian Gow, whose killing by the IRA made him the last sitting MP to be murdered until that point, the court was told. 

Opening the trial this afternoon, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors it was a 'shocking' case which saw the MP - who supported the Remain campaign - killed while serving in her official political role.

He told the court: 'Thomas Mair clearly held views that provided him with a motive - utterly misplaced, of course - to kill her.

'The prosecution suggests that he killed her because she was an MP who did not share his views.'

The court was told how the attack began on June 16 when Mrs Cox arrived at the library for her constituency surgery. 

Mr Whittam said Mair then launched at the MP, while armed with a firearm and a knife.   
'During the course of the murder Thomas Mair was heard by a number of witnesses to say repeatedly "Britain First"', he told the court. 

The court was told how, when police arrested Mair in the aftermath of the killing, he told officers: 'I am a political activist'. 

'The murder took place while she was performing her role as a Member of Parliament,' Mr Whittam added. 

'Thomas Mair's intention was to kill her in what was a planned and pre-meditated murder for a political and/or ideological cause.'  

As well as a charge of murder, Mair faces a charge of grievous bodily harm, over allegations that he knifed Mr Carter-Kenny.

He is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a dagger. 
During today's opening, Mr Whittam also told the court how items found at Mair's home showed he had 'strong political and ideological interests'.
The court heard he used the computers at the same library in the weeks leading up to the killing to access websites.

In May, the prosecutor said, Mair accessed the Wikipedia page of an online publication called the Occidental Observer, described online as a 'far-right' publication 'that covers politics and society from a white nationalist and anti-Semitic perspective'.
In the days immediately before the killing he returned to view more online material, the court heard. 

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Jo Co was a left-wing MP who had solidarity with Gaza/Palestine.

On June 13 - three days before Mrs Cox died - Mair looked at the Twitter and Wikipedia pages for the Labour MP.

He also looked at the Wikipedia page for Tory politician Mr Gow and Mr Hague.
Mr Whittam said Mair also looked at information on .22 gun ammunition, including answers to the question: 'Is a .22 round deadly enough to kill with one shot to a human head?' 

The next day, Mair returned to look at websites on 'matricide' - the murder of your own mother - Nazi material, the death penalty in Japan, political prisoners and the human liver and spinal column.
Jurors saw CCTV footage from the library showing Mair arriving to use the computers on June 15, the eve of the attack.

The prosecution alleges that later that afternoon he researched right-wing politicians as well as the Ku Klux Klan and civil rights activists killed by its supporters.

Mr Whittam said Mair also accessed sites covering 'Israel and prominent Jewish individuals', Palestine, coffins, the Waffen SS and more information on .22 ammunition. 
The jury also heard how Mrs Cox was found with 15 stab wounds, including to her heart, lungs, stomach and liver. 

The court heard how local pensioner Bernard Carter-Kenny, 77, tried to intervene to save Mrs Cox but was stabbed in the chest by the defendant. He was stabbed once by Mair with the same knife that he used to stab Mrs Cox. 

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