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

Six alleged members of banned far-right terrorist group due to go on trial next year

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Friday 03 November 2017 17:19
The man is accused of plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper
The man is accused of plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper

An alleged neo-Nazi accused of buying a machete with the intention of murdering a Labour MP has appeared in court.

The 22-year-old will go on trial next year, alongside five other men accused of being members of a banned far-right terrorist group,

The man from Lancashire, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with intending to commit acts of terrorism, making threats to kill a female police officer and being a member of National Action.

He allegedly purchased a “Gladius Machete” – a type of weapon used by Celtic tribes and Roman legions – for the purpose of murdering Labour MP Rosie Cooper earlier this year.

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

Lythgoe, 31 from Warrington, and the 22-year-old 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 at the Old Bailey via video link before Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, and were remanded in custody.

They had been among 11 suspects arrested across England and Wales during a crackdown on National Action in September.

The group and two of its aliases – Scottish Dawn and NS131 – have been banned by the Government, which cited its “virulently racist, antisemitic and homophobic” ideology.

The six defendants are accused of continuing to be members of National Action after the group was banned in December - an offence punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.

The judge set their trial for Woolwich Crown Court in London on a date to be fixed after April next year.

Additional reporting by PA