Medical issues 'will not form part of Jo Cox murder accused's defence'

Medical issues will not be part of the trial of the man accused of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox.

Thomas Mair, 53, is accused of shooting and stabbing Mrs Cox, 41, outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on June 16.

He is charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon. Prosecutor Tom Little said during a hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday that the main issue in the trial will be “factual”.

“The prosecution understand that the issues will be factual, or appear to be at this stage,” he added.

Cairns Nelson, defending, confirmed that the defendant has been assessed by doctors and that medical evidence will not form part of the defence.

Mair was due to appear via video link from top security Belmarsh jail, but his barrister gave permission for the brief preliminary hearing to be held in his absence because there was a technical problem.

Mair, from Birstall, is being held in custody. His case is being handled under the “terrorism protocol” as part of a terror list before Mr Justice Saunders.

He is due to appear at the Old Bailey on October 4 for a plea hearing and will stand trial in November.

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