Man who plotted to kill MP gives Nazi salute as he begins life sentence
A white supremacist gave a Nazi salute as he was sentenced to life in prison for plotting to “replicate” the murder of Jo Cox by killing his local MP.
Neo-Nazi Jack Renshaw, 23, a convicted paedophile, bought a 19-inch (48cm) Gladius knife to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer investigating him for child sex offences.
He Googled “how long to die after jugular cut” and researched Mrs Cooper’s schedule as he planned the attack.
Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years at the Old Bailey on Friday after he admitted making preparations to kill Mrs Cooper and making a threat to kill Detective Constable Victoria Henderson.
Mrs Justice McGowan told him: “This is a case in which only a sentence of life imprisonment can meet the appalling seriousness of your offending.”
As Renshaw was led to the cells, he raised his arm in a Nazi salute as a supporter in the public gallery shouted: “We’re with you, Jack.”
His murder plot was scuppered by whistleblower Robbie Mullen, who was at a pub meeting when Renshaw announced his intentions in July 2017, one year after Labour MP Mrs Cox’s murder.
Mrs Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed by Thomas Mair, a far-right terrorist who shouted “Britain first” during the attack.
Renshaw had intended to murder Mrs Cooper then take hostages in a pub and demand to speak to Ms Henderson.
He hoped to then murder the detective and attempt “suicide by cop”.
Mrs Justice McGowan said: “You praised the murder of Jo Cox in tweets and posts in June 2017 and in some bizarre way you saw this as a commendable act and set out to replicate that behaviour.
“Your perverted view of history and current politics has caused you to believe it right to demonise groups simply because they are different from you.”
After the sentencing, Mrs Cooper said: “My deepest wish is that this case is the last occasion when any public servant, any politician, has their life threatened for simply doing their job.
“I believe today justice has been served. Not for me personally, but for every MP and public servant, and for our democratic way of life which affords us the privilege of free speech, without fear of violent retribution.”
In a victim impact statement read by Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, the MP said the plot against her was like “something out of a horror movie” and caused some of her staff to leave their jobs.
Ms Henderson added in a statement: “I had sleepless nights until Renshaw was arrested as I was convinced he would be able to find me.”
Renshaw announced his plan at the Friar Penketh pub in Warrington at a meeting with the leader of banned extreme right-wing group National Action, Christopher Lythgoe, and others including Mr Mullen.
Mr Mullen, from Widnes, Cheshire, shared details of the plot with campaign group Hope Not Hate.
Renshaw also denied membership of National Action and a jury was discharged when they failed to reach a verdict.
He was previously jailed last June for 16 months after he groomed two underage boys online.
He also received a three-year prison sentence two months earlier for stirring up racial hatred after he called for the genocide of Jewish people.
Will Chatterton, head of investigations for counter terrorism policing in the North West, said the jail term reflected “the vile and shocking nature” of Renshaw’s views and plans.
He described Renshaw’s Nazi salute in court as a “vile and disrespectful act which demonstrates the fact that he’s a dangerous individual who still holds appalling and extreme views”.
Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said Renshaw “was prepared to act on his white supremacist world view” with a plan “reminiscent of the abhorrent murder of Jo Cox”.