'Sane' Mair will stand trial

'Sane' Mair will stand trial

MEDICAL issues will not form part of the defence for the man accused of murdering Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox. 

Thomas Mair, 53, is accused of shooting and stabbing Mrs Cox outside a constituency surgery in Birstall on Thursday June 16.

He is charged with murder, inflicting grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

During a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday, the prosecution in the case stated that the main issues in the trial would be “factual”.

Cairns Nelson, defending, confirmed to the court that Mair had been assessed by doctors and that medical evidence would not form part of his defence.

He was due to appear via video link from the high-security Belmarsh Prison, but due to a technical problem this was unable to take place.

His barrister gave permission for the hearing to go ahead despite his absence.

The case is being handled under terrorism protocols by Mr Justice Saunders.

Mair, an unemployed gardener from Birstall, is due to appear at the Old Bailey on October 4 for a plea hearing and will then stand trial in mid-November.

Labour MP Mrs Cox, 41, had spent the morning of June 16 visiting a school and a care home in her constituency and was on her way to a meeting with constituents at Birstall Library when she was killed.

A by-election to choose her successor will take place on Thursday October 20.

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