A Birstall man, who was said to be obsessed with Nazis and right wing ideology, has been told he will spend the rest of his life in jail after being found guilty this week of the murder of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox.
It took a jury just at the Old Bailey two hours to find Thomas Mair guilty of murder on Wednesday 23rd November, after he attacked the local politician in June of this year.
Mair shot Ms Cox three times and repeatedly stabbed the mother-of-two in a frenzied attack just prior to a constituency meeting in Birstall.
During the attack, the killer shouted ‘Britain First’ and ‘Keep Britain independent’, before officers arrested him moments later, telling them he was a political activist.
Throughout the trial, which was treated as a terrorism case, Mair refused to make a statement, enter a plea or speak in his defence.
Only after he was found guilty did he ask to make a statement, yet Judge Alan Wilkie refused.
Sentencing the 53-year-old to life in prison, Mr Wilkie told him he was certainly ‘no patriot’.
“By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country: its adherence to parliamentary democracy,” he said.
Adding: “It is clear...that your inspiration is not love of country or your fellow citizens; it is an admiration for Nazism and similar anti-democratic white supremacist creeds.”
Mair was also convicted on Wednesday of grievous bodily harm after he stabbed 77-year-old, Bernard Carter, who had gone to Cox's aid during the attack.
In build up to the case, police had searched Mair’s apartment where they found a host of far-right books and items.
On top of one bookcase in a bedroom, detectives found a Third Reich eagle ornament with a swastika on it. Underneath, on the actual case, were stacks of books about German military history, Nazi race theory and white supremacism.
Analysis of his internet history on the weeks leading up to Ms Cox’s death also revealed Mair’s obsession with far right ideology, previously reading articles on the British National Party, the Ku Klux Klan and Dylann Roof - the man accused of killing nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
He had also searched for a Wikipedia page for Ian Gow – previously the last MP to have been killed prior to Ms Cox’s murder.
Speaking after the case, the murdered MP’s husband Brendan, standing with Ms Cox’s mother, father and sister, called the killing an act of terrorism.
“To the person who did this, we have nothing but pity that his life was devoid of love and consumed with hatred that this became his desperate and cowardly attempt to find meaning,” he said in a statement.
“The killing of Jo was a political act, an act of terrorism.”