The man accused of killing MP Jo Cox accessed the Wikipedia page of an anti-Semitic online publication “that covers politics and society from a white nationalist perspective,” a court has heard.
Gardener Thomas Mair, 53, allegedly murdered the 41-year-old outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on June 16.
Opening his Old Bailey trial, Richard Whittam QC told jurors how mother-of-two Mrs Cox had supported the Remain campaign leading up to the referendum on June 23.
On the afternoon of Thursday June 16 2016, she was to hold a surgery in the library in Market Street, having visited a local school and a care home.
Mr Whittam told jurors: “As she arrived she was brutally murdered by one of her constituents, this defendant, Thomas Mair.
“It was a cowardly attack by a man armed with a firearm and a knife. Jo Cox was shot three times and suffered multiple stab wounds. During the course of the murder Thomas Mair was heard by a number of witnesses to say repeatedly ‘Britain First’.”
During the attack, a 77-year-old local man risked his own life in an effort to save hers, the court heard. He was stabbed once by Mair with the same knife that he used to stab Mrs Cox.
Emergency services arrived within minutes and she was given an emergency thoracotomy as she lay in the street, the court heard.
In May, the prosecutor said, Mair accessed the Wikipedia page of an online publication called the Occidental Observer. Wikipedia described it as a “far-right” publication “that covers politics and society from a white nationalist and anti-Semitic perspective”.
In the days immediately before the killing he returned to view more online material, the court heard.
On June 13, he looked at the Twitter and Wikipedia pages for Mrs Cox, and the Wikipedia page for Conservative Ian Gow, whose killing by the IRA made him the last sitting MP to be murdered until that point, jurors were told.
He went on to view information about former foreign secretary William Hague, another Yorkshire-based Remain supporter.
Mr Whittam said Mair also looked at information on .22 gun ammunition, including answers to the question: “Is a .22 round deadly enough to kill with one shot to a human head?”
The next day, Mair returned to look at websites on “matricide” – the murder of your own mother – Nazi material, the death penalty in Japan, political prisoners and the human liver and spinal column.
Jurors saw CCTV footage from the library showing Mair arriving to use the computers on June 15, the eve of the attack.
The prosecution alleges that late that afternoon he researched right-wing politicians as well as the Ku Klux Klan and civil rights activists killed by its supporters.
Mr Whittam said Mair also accessed sites covering “Israel and prominent Jewish individuals”, Palestine, coffins, the Waffen SS and more information on .22 ammunition.