Trial date set for accused

THE MAN accused of murdering MP Jo Cox is set to stand trial in November under what were described in court as “terrorist protocols”.

Thomas Mair, of Lowood Lane, Birstall, faced multiple charges at Westminster Magistrates Court in London last Saturday.

They were murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

He made two further court appearances at the Old Bailey  on Monday and yesterday (Thursday), when a provisional trial date of Monday November 14 was set.

Asked to confirm his name last Saturday, Mair, 52, told the court: “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

The judge asked the defendant’s lawyers to confirm his name is Thomas Mair, which they did.

Mrs Cox (Lab, Batley and Spen) was killed last Thursday near Birstall Library, where she had arrived justbefore 1pm to hold a constituency surgery.

The 41-year-old mother of two was declared dead at 1.48pm after being shot three times and repeatedly stabbed.

David Cawthorne, of the counter-terrorism division of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Mrs Cox visited a primary school and care home that morning.

She then headed to the library on Market Street, Birstall for a publicly scheduled surgery with her constituents.

Mair was arrested by officers on Risedale Avenue, Howden Clough.

When he appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court handcuffed to a guard he did not enter a plea but an application for legal aid was made.

Deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded Mair to the high security Belmarsh Prison in London for an appearance at the Old Bailey, which took place on Monday.

She added: “Bearing in mind the name he has just given, he ought to be seen by a psychiatrist.”

On Monday Mair appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh before Mr Justice Sweeney under terrorism protocols.

He spoke only to confirm his name, saying “Yes, I am” when asked if he was Mair.

Again, no application for bail was made.

Yesterday it was confirmed in a 15-minute hearing that Mair’s case will be dealt with as a terrorist trial.

Mair again appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh.

He sat throughout with his head bowed, taking notes, and made no reaction as his lawyer Cairns Nelson QC discussed his case with the prosecutor Mark Dawson and judge Mr Justice Saunders.

Another hearing is due on Monday September 19 at the Old Bailey with a plea hearing pencilled for Tuesday October 4.

The trial will be heard before a high court judge and is likely to be at the Old Bailey.

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