Murdered British MP told aides to save themselves

  • 17/11/2016
A placard of slain MP Jo Cox (Reuters)
A placard of slain MP Jo Cox (Reuters)

Dying British MP Jo Cox pleaded with her aides to save themselves after her killer launched a frenzied attack, prompting him to return to carry on the deadly assault, a court has heard.

Labour MP Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two young children, was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed on the street in the town of Birstall.

Thomas Mair, 53, denies her murder.

Two aides with her at the time, Fazila Aswat and Sandra Major, told the Old Bailey court in London on Wednesday how her killer had launched a second ferocious attack after she survived his initial assault.

The attack occurred a week before Britain's Brexit referendum in June in which Cox had been a strong supporter of remaining in the EU.

Ms Major said the man approached Ms Cox and shot her in the head.

"Jo was lying on the floor and she sort of tried to sit up a little bit. He just started stabbing her while she was lying on the floor," she told the jurors.

The aides screamed at the man to get away, saying she had two little children. Ms Cox rolled off the pavement into the road and the man approached Ms Major and Ms Aswat waving his knife.

"She shouted 'get away, get away you two, let him hurt me, don't let him hurt you,'" Ms Major told the jury. "He started to walk away a little bit. When Jo shouted out he came back. He shot her twice more and started stabbing her again. She was on the floor, she didn't get up again."

Prosecutors said Mair had researched white supremacists, Nazi Germany, shootings and assassinations before the attack.

Ms Major said the attacker had shouted out something like "Keep Britain independent" or "British independence" while Ms Aswat recalled: "he said 'Britain first, this is for Britain, Britain will always come first".

Jurors also heard that in a holdall Mair was carrying at the time of his arrest there was a leaflet relating to the referendum from the "Stronger in Europe" campaign.