Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Police officers who arrested Thomas Mair say a holdall he was carrying contained a rifle, a bag of bullets, and a dagger.


Thomas Mair is accused of killing Jo Cox in June
Image Caption:Thomas Mair is accused of killing Jo Cox in June
A man accused of killing Labour MP Jo Cox told police "it's me" and "I'm a political activist" as he was apprehended by police, a court has heard.
The Old Bailey was also told that a black holdall Thomas Mair was carrying contained a loaded sawn-off rifle, a bag of bullets, a dagger and a leaflet about the EU referendum.
The 53-year-old gardener is accused of repeatedly shooting and stabbing the 41-year-old MP a week before the vote took place in June.
It happened outside the library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where Ms Cox had been due to hold a constituency surgery. 
Giving evidence, PC Craig Nicholls said he and PC Jonathan Wright arrested Mair in Risedale Avenue, about a mile from where Ms Cox had been attacked. 

A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas Mair
Image Caption:A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas Mair
PC Nicholls told the jury that PC Wright leaned out of the patrol car and ordered Mair to put his bag down and show his hands "several times".  
PC Nicholls said: "He dropped the bag to his right-hand side. He turned around and it was very quick, put his hands into his pockets.
"I just remember seeing loose change fall out of his pockets.
"At that point he put his arms out and said 'It's me'."
PC Nicholls added that as he and his colleague "rugby-tackled him to the ground", Mair said: "I'm a political activist." 

A CCTV image of Thomas Mair provided by West Yorkshire Police
Image Caption:A CCTV image of Thomas Mair provided by West Yorkshire Police
PC Wright told the jury: "As we reached the male, his arms moved towards his belt line.
"I was fearful because he had a loose-fitting shirt and I could not see what he had underneath so we both took him to the ground.
"I asked him: 'What have you got on you?' and he told me 'I've got a knife in my pocket'."
PC Wright added: "I opened the bag to have a look in it. I saw a firearm." 
Simon Russell Flint QC, defending Mair, suggested his client did not say "it's me", or claim to be a political activist, pointing out there was a lot of radio noise and the police car's engine was running. 
But PC Nicholls replied: "He did say it."

Items presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas Mair
Image Caption:Items presented in evidence during the trial at the Old Bailey
A scenes of crime officer found a dagger and sheath inside the sports bag, the Old Bailey heard. 
Jurors were also told that another blade in a gold-coloured cylinder was among some items in the road.  
Mair denies murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon. 
In addition, he has also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a 77-year-old man, Bernard Carter-Kenny, on the same date.
The trial continues.