The man accused of shooting Labour Mp Jo Cox on Thursday appeared in court today. He gave his name as ‘Death to Traitors, Freedom for Britain,’ at Westminster Magistrate’s Court. His real name is Thomas Mair.
Batley and Spen’s Labour MP was shot and killed on Thursday, during a surgery at the local library. Cox was 41, and there have been numerous tributes after her death. The referendum campaign on both sides was stopped for that afternoon as a mark of respect.
Fifty-two-year-old Mair was arrested shortly after the shooting. He has been charged with murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit and indictable offence, possession of an offensive weapon and grievous bodily harm, according to BBC News.
As well as giving a false name, he refused to confirm his date of birth and address. After failing to enter a plea, a date for his bail hearing was set for Monday at the Old Bailey. His attorney is applying for legal aid.
The 52-year-old had asked Birstall Wellbeing Centre for mental health treatment just the day before he allegedly shot and killed Cox, wanting help for his depression. He had been told he would need to make an appointment the next day. Rebecca Walker, who owns the centre, says that he never returned and had said that he had been seeking help for his depression for many years. The previous help he had received hadn’t worked and he wanted alternative therapies. Walker wonders now whether she could have prevented Cox’s death by talking to Mair more on the evening he attended.
When police searched his home, they reportedly found it full of Nazi regalia, according to The Telegraph. He shouted “Britain First” after the shooting, according to witnesses, and there have been images of him with the group.
It is still unclear why he targeted the MP. The referendum has been used by many as a reason, with some now campaigning and petitioning for the whole vote to be called off.
Featured image from tweet included above.
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