Introduction — Nov 17, 2016
The second day of the trial of Thomas Mair opened with testimony that could have been scripted by a Hollywood scriptwriter.
In what could be seen as a ploy to extract maximum sympathy and admiration for the victim, Jo Cox, the court heard how she shouted to her assistant and a companion during the attack:
“Get away, get away you two! Let him hurt me – don’t let him hurt you”.
Bernard Kenny, the retired miner who was stabbed as he tried to save Jo Cox didn’t appear in court. Although the following Guardian report leaves the impression that he appeared in person a statement was read out to the court on his behalf. That much is confirmed in a BBC report on the proceedings.
However, his inability to attend should come as no surprise as little has been heard from the pensioner since he was stabbed trying to save Jo Cox.
Normally a heroic pensioner who intervenes in an attack would be much sought after by the media. Indeed, you would think they would be falling over themselves for his account, with photos and interviews, but beyond a brief written statement we’ve heard little from him since the attack.
Leaving one to wonder if he’s not the same Bernard Kenny who lived nearby until 2013, when he died?
Meaning that Jo Cox’s murder may have been staged for political gain. After all the murder of the Remain campaigner took place days before the Brexit referendum and should have convinced voters to remain.
Meanwhile Fazila Aswat, the MP’s assistant and office manager, described how Thomas Mair shouted: ‘Britain first, Britain will always be first.’”
Strangely her testimony is at odds with another witness account, Ahmed Tahir, an Asian shopkeeper at the scene of the attack who claims no one shouted those words.
The court was also shown stills from CCTV cameras, which police claim showed Thomas Mair near the scene of the attack on the day in question. Although given the quality of the photo and the fact that his face is partially obscured it could be anyone.
The case against Thomas Mair is so flawed, so riddled with inconsistencies, that it’s no wonder the judge has banned jurors from accessing the Internet as they deliberate. After all they might come across articles that call into account the official version of events and if the court is to imprison an innocent man in prison for the rest of his life that cannot be allowed to happen. Ed.
Jo Cox murder trial: MP told assistants to flee to safety after she was shot
Ian Cobain — The Guardian Nov 16, 2016
The Labour MP Jo Cox told her two assistants to flee to safety and leave her to her fate after she was shot and stabbed, the trial of the man accused of her murder has heard.
Sandra Major, the Batley and Spen MP’s constituency caseworker, told the Old Bailey on Wednesday: “She was shouting, ‘Get away, get away you two! Let him hurt me – don’t let him hurt you’.”
She said the attacker had retreated after shooting and stabbing Cox but turned around and resumed his attack after hearing her shout.
Thomas Mair, one of Cox’s constituents, is accused of killing her in Birstall, West Yorkshire. The court heard he had been captured on CCTV carrying out the attack, and that he had been arrested moments later while in possession of the knife and gun used to carry out the murder.
As Cox’s family watched from the back of the court, Major and Fazila Aswat, the MP’s assistant and office manager, described how she was repeatedly shot and stabbed in an attack that lasted seconds.
The three women had driven to a meeting with constituents in the library at Birstall during the EU referendum campaign in June.
Major told the court that as they climbed from the car she could see a man approaching. She said: “He had a gun in his hand. He raised his arm and shot Jo in the head. Then he got a knife out of his bag. It was black.
“Jo was lying on the floor, and she sort of tried to sit up. He just started stabbing her while she was lying on the floor. Jo tried to get away. Fazila was shouting: ‘Get away from her, she’s got two little children.’ I was just screaming. I thought that if some people came, he might go away.”
Cox tried to get to her feet but rolled off the pavement into the road, the court heard. At this point, Major said, the attacker threatened her and Aswat with the knife, and Cox shouted that they should save themselves.
Major said: “He had started to walk away a little bit, but when Jo shouted out, he came back. He started stabbing her again. She was on the floor. She didn’t get up again.”
Occasionally fighting back tears, Aswat said she first realised Cox had come under attack when she saw her lying on the ground.
She said: “A man stood over her with a knife. I knew something was completely wrong. Then there was a gunshot. I said: ‘Jo, you need to run.’ She said: ‘I can’t run, I’m hurt.’ Then he came back.”
Aswat, who told the jury that she retreated behind the Vauxhall Astra in which they had driven to the library, added: “I heard two further gunshots, and you could see his arm going to her. He actually shot her from close range, because he was standing over her.
“It was at the end he stood up and said: ‘Britain first, Britain will always be first.’”
In a statement read to the court, Bernard Carter-Kenny, a retired miner then aged 77, described how he was stabbed when he tried to help Cox.
He told jurors that he heard a bang he thought sounded like a gun but must have been a car backfiring. He added: “When I saw Jo roll into the road, I could see blood. I jumped out of the car. My first feeling was he was kicking her and brandishing a knife. She was on the floor and he had a knife in his hand. People were shouting: ‘Get help, get help.’”
Carter-Kenny said he ran across and wanted to jump on the attacker’s shoulder. He said he saw a 9in “dagger” in his hands and that the attacker shoved it into his stomach.