National Action: Alleged neo-Nazi 'bought machete to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper'

Man appears in court alongside five other alleged members of far-right terrorist group

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Friday 27 October 2017 13:56
One of the defendants allegedly intended to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper
One of the defendants allegedly intended to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper

An alleged neo-Nazi bought a machete with the intention of murdering Labour MP Rosie Cooper, a court has heard.

The 22-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was among six alleged members of National Action appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

He has been a preparing for acts of terrorism by allegedly buying a “Gladius Machete” – a type of weapon used by Celtic tribes and Roman legions – for the purpose of murdering Ms Cooper in July.

The defendant, from Lancashire, is also accused of making threats to kill a female police officer.

National Action’s alleged regional leader, 31-year-old Christopher Lythgoe, is accused of “the encouragement of murder” by approving the alleged plot at a meeting.

He and the 22-year-old are have also been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, alongside Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Matthew Hankinson, 23, of Newton-Le-Willows, Andrew Clarke, 33, of Prescot and Michael Trubini, 25, of Warrington.

The men appeared in the dock on Friday, speaking to confirm their names, dates of birth and ages.

During the hearing, Mr Helm asked: “Am I allowed to speak?” before he was approached by his lawyer.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded them in custody before a pre-trial hearing at the Old Bailey on 3 November.

The six men were among 11 suspects arrested across England and Wales during a crackdown on National Action in September, after allegedly remaining remembers of the group and continuing its activities after it became the first far-right organisation banned by the Government last year.

Two of National Action's aliases - Scottish Dawn and NS131 – have since been prohibited in an order that cited their “virulently racist, antisemitic and homophobic” ideology.

The proscription makes membership a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.

Additional reporting by PA

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