Thomas Mair found guilty of murdering British MP Jo Cox

He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent

Thomas Mair found guilty of murdering British MP Jo Cox

File photo of British Labour MP Jo Cox | Image: Yui Mok PA Wire/PA Images

A white supremacist has been told he will serve the whole of his life in jail for murdering British MP Jo Cox.

Thomas Mair attacked the 41-year-old mother-of-two as she arrived for her weekly surgery, shooting and stabbing her after shouting "Britain first".

Mair, who had a stash of neo-Nazi material at his home in West Yorkshire, had pleaded his innocence but failed to offer any evidence in his defence.

The jury at the Old Bailey took just 90 minutes to find Mair guilty after a prosecutor described how, having failed in a first attempt to kill her, he came back to shoot and stab the Labour MP in front of her shocked constituents.

She was shot at a three times and stabbed a total of 15 times a week before Britain's EU referendum, in which she had been campaigning for the UK to remain.

After the verdict, Mair asked the judge through his lawyer if he could address the court, but was refused permission.

The judge Mr Justice Wilkie told Mair: "By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country, its reliance on Parliamentary democracy.

"There is no doubt that this murder was done to advance the cause of violent white nationalism.

"It was a vicious ruthless and determined attack. You returned to inflict further injuries on Jo when it seemed she might survive."

"Sheer barbarity"

In his closing speech, Richard Whittam QC, said: "The democratically elected MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, was murdered as she carried out her duties on behalf of her electorate.

"The sheer barbarity of her murder and the utter cowardice of her murder bring the two extremities of humanity face to face."

Mair was also found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent, the grievous bodily harm of Bernard Carter-Kenny and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a dagger.

Reporter Martin Brunt said there was no reaction from Mair as the four guilty verdicts were read out. Mrs Cox's family also remained quiet.

Mr Whittam had praised the courage of Mrs Cox and the those who tried to intervene when they saw her being attacked.

As she lay mortally wounded in the street, the MP tried to protect her aides by urging them to abandon her and escape from Mair.

File photo by court sketch artist Elizabeth Cook of Thomas Mair in the dock of the Old Bailey, London | Image: Elizabeth Cook PA Wire/PA Images

Her constituency caseworker Sandra Major told jurors during the trial: "He was making motions towards us with the knife and Jo was lying in the road and she shouted out 'get away, get away you two. Let him hurt me. Don't let him hurt you'."

Passer-by Bernard Kenny (78) was stabbed as he tried to stop Mair by jumping on him from behind.

When he was swiftly tracked down by police a mile away, Mair's holdall containing the blood-splattered murder weapons including a reproduction Fairbairn-Sykes "fighting dagger", designed during World War Two for British special forces.

After his arrest, police uncovered a hoard of neo-Nazi literature at his council house and a golden Third Reich eagle ornament with a swastika emblazoned on the front.

Detectives investigating his use of library computers also exposed Mair's interest in far right, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi politics in Britain and abroad.

Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Mair has offered no explanation for his actions but the prosecution was able to demonstrate that, motivated by hate, his pre-meditated crimes were nothing less than acts of terrorism designed to advance his twisted ideology."

Jo Cox was the first British female MP ever to be murdered and the first MP to be killed in office since 1990.

She was barely a year into her job when she died yet had marked herself out an MP with one of the brightest futures among the 2015 House of Commons intake.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the murder as "an attack on democracy, and has robbed the world of an ambassador of kindness and compassion".