LONDON, ENGLAND—On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the man who killed British MP, Jo Cox, was sentenced to life in prison.
“You are no patriot,” Judge Alan Wilkie said at the Old Bailey trial where Thomas Mair, 56, was sentenced. “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.”
On June 16, a week before the EU referendum, Mair attacked British lawmaker, Jo Cox, 41, as she got out of her car in Birstall; a small market town in West Yorkshire of Northern England. Cox was on her way to meet constituents.
According to The Guardian News, a prosecutor told the jury that Mair shot her in the head two times and one time in the chest with a sawn-off .22 caliber hunting rifle and then stabbed her 15 times in the chest. Cox died shortly after police and paramedics arrived on the scene, while she was being transported in the back of the ambulance. The suspect was arrested just a few blocks away from the scene of the crime.
Cox, a wife, and mother of three children, ages 5 and 3, had been elected to parliament in May 2015. She supported Britain staying in the EU and ran a campaign with the slogan, “Stronger In” in support of pro-EU.
Clark Rothwell, a man who runs a cafe near the scene of the incident, said that he recalls Mair yelling, “Put Britain First” before and during the attack. Britain First was the name of a UK political party that was campaigning for Britain to leave the UK.
After the attack, one of Mair’s neighbors, Diana Peters, said that the incident was a surprise to her and called Mair an “ideal neighbor.” She said he was “helpful when you wanted it, kept to himself…He is very neat and tidy.” Neighbors say that they never saw anyone visit Mair and that he would occasionally mow their gardens.
Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen told reporters that Mair had no signs of mental health issues, but he had signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When police searched Mair’s home they found evidence of neo-nazism, white supremacism, and pro-apartheid materials. Police pictures displayed his bookcase with a Third Reich eagle ornament with a swastika on it.
According to Reuters.com, Mair refused to provide any defense for himself and his only words in court were, “death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”
Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband, issued a statement outside of the courtroom that read:
“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.”