Suspected killer of UK lawmaker will not run medical defense

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 19, 2016 5:37 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - The man accused of murdering member of parliament Jo Cox in the run-up to Britain's June EU referendum vote will not present a defense case based on medical evidence, a London court heard on Monday.

Thomas Mair, 52, is accused of shooting and stabbing Cox, of the opposition Labour Party, as she arrived for a meeting with residents in the northern English town of Birstall, part of her electoral district.

A 77-year-old man who came to her aid was also stabbed.

At London's Old Bailey court, defense lawyer Nelson Cairns said Mair's case would not run a medical defense. That could involve arguments such as, for example, that he had diminished responsibility due to a medical condition.

The murder of Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two young children and former aid worker, occurred just a week before the referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU.

The killing of the pro-EU lawmaker horrified Britain and led to the suspension of campaigning for several days.

At a court hearing shortly after his arrest, Mair said his name was "death to traitors, freedom for Britain".

He is charged with murder, causing grievous bodily harm and possession of a gun and a knife.

He is due to enter a plea on Oct. 4 and his trial, which is being handled under terrorism protocols, is scheduled to start on Nov. 14.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, writing by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)