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Lythgoe


Two men have been found guilty of being members of banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

Christopher Lythgoe, 32, of Warrington, and Matthew Hankinson, 24, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, were convicted after a trial lasting over five weeks.

Lythgoe was jailed for eight years and Hankinson for six.

Earlier in the trial, another man, Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancs, admitted preparing an act of terrorism after buying a machete.

He admitted buying it for the purpose of murdering West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.

A former National Action member, Robbie Mullen, warned the anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate of Renshaw’s plan, and they went to the police.

A total of six men were on trial at the Old Bailey, accused of being members of National Action.

Hankinson

‘Perverted ideology’

Lythgoe, the National Action leader, was found not guilty of encouragement to murder for allegedly giving Renshaw permission to kill Ms Cooper on behalf of the group.

Renshaw also admitted threatening to kill Det Con Victoria Henderson, who was investigating him for other matters.

Mr Justice Jay said group meetings after the ban were attempting to keeping alive an aspiration which was “truly insidious and evil: the idea that this country should be purged of its ethnic minorities and its Jews; that the rule of law should be subverted; and that once the ideological revolution had taken place this national socialist world view would triumph”.

Sentencing Lythgoe, he said: “You are a fully-fledged neo-Nazi replete with concomitant deep-seated, entrenched racism and anti-Semitism.”

The judge told Hankinson: “You too are a neo-Nazi who glorifies and revels in a perverted ideology, has a deep hatred of ethnic minorities and Jews and has advocated violence to achieve your objectives.”

Racial hatred conviction

Jurors were unable to decide either whether Renshaw had remained a member of National Action after it was banned, or whether two other men – Michal Trubini, 35, from Warrington and Andrew Clarke, 33, from Prescot, Merseyside – were guilty of the same charge.

Another defendant – Garron Helm, 24, from Seaforth in Merseyside – was found not guilty of being a member of the group.

It can also now be reported that Renshaw was convicted earlier this year of two counts of stirring up racial hatred in speeches he made in 2016.

National Action, which was founded in 2013, was the first extreme right-wing group to be banned in the UK.

It was proscribed in December 2016 after it was assessed as being “concerned in terrorism”.

Earlier that year, the group had celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a white supremacist, which the government said amounted to the unlawful glorification of terrorism.

BBC News

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

An alleged member of the banned neo-Nazi group National Action has admitted to plotting to kill a British MP and making threats to kill a police officer.

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a Gladius machete to kill the West Lancashire Labour MP Rosie Cooper last summer.

On the opening day of his trial at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism and making threats to kill a police officer, DC Victoria Henderson.

The judge, Mr Justice Robert Jay, directed the jury to deliver a formal guilty verdict on the two charges. Renshaw also faces a third charge of membership of the banned far right group, which he denies.

He is on trial alongside Christopher Lythgoe, 32, from Warrington, who is charged with encouraging Renshaw to murder Cooper on behalf of National Action, believing the act would be committed. He denies the charges.

Four other men – Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Merseyside; Matthew Hankinson, 24, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside; Andrew Clark, 33, and Michael Trubini, 35, both of Warrington – are also charged with membership of National Action. They deny the charge.

The court heard that Renshaw had bought the machete to kill Cooper between 5 June and 3 July last year. He made threats while in a pub in Warrington on 1 July last year, it was alleged.

Duncan Atkinson, prosecuting, told the court that National Action had engaged since 2013 in a campaign of “virulently racist, antisemitic and homophobic propaganda through which it sought to stir up a violent ‘race war’ against ethnic minorities and others it perceived as ‘race traitors’.”

He said the group “actively sought to recruit and radicalise young people through the violent imagery and hate-filled language of its social media messages, its provocative street demonstrations and intimidation of local communities”.

It was such activities, culminating it its support of the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016, that led to its proscription by the home secretary in December 2016.

The court heard how a significant amount of evidence came from a former member of National Action called Robbie Mullen. Mullen, the prosecution said, told how the group, under the leadership of Lythgoe, continued to function post-proscription, with the primary desire to start a race war and to free “white Britain”.

Other sources of evidence included material found at the defendants’ addresses and on their electronic devices, including communications with each other. All of the defendants are alleged to be part of the north-west area groups, which met at a pub in Warrington called the Friar Penketh.

The prosecution said Renshaw planned to engage in politically motivated murder, and sought the approval of the organisation and hoped to advance its cause through this killing. His motivation was also personal, the court heard.

Renshaw was arrested on 11 January 2017 on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred. He was interviewed by an officer called DC Victoria Henderson and a male police officer, before being released pending further investigation.

On Renshaw’s arrest, a phone was recovered and analysed, revealing what police considered to be evidence of child sex offences (grooming), the court heard. Renshaw was again arrested and interviewed in respect of those allegations on 19 May 2017, again by a team including Henderson.

On 1 July 2017, the prosecution said there was a meeting at the Friar Penketh pub attended by most of the defendants. Mullen was also there.

At this meeting, Renshaw told the group he was planning to kill his local member of parliament, Cooper. “She was of the same party, Labour, as Jo Cox MP had been: she was therefore perceived to have the same support for immigration to this country that has been advanced as a reason for Jo Cox’s death, and more especially for National Action’s support for the actions of her murderer,” Atkinson said.

During the meeting Renshaw said that after killing Cooper he would take some people hostage and would demand that DC Henderson attended the scene. “His plan then would be to kill the officer who was, he said, his real target,” Atkinson said.

Renshaw said he had already purchased the machete that he would use to carry out the killing. The weapon, marketed online as offering “19 inches of unprecedented piercing and slashing power at a bargain price”, was later found by police hidden in an airing cupboard.

Renshaw’s internet search history also related to wounding and his identified target, Cooper.

The court heard how nothing of significance would happen without Lythgoe’s approval, and that was why Renshaw brought up the plan. Lythgoe’s alleged response was to give his consent by saying “don’t fuck it up”. He also advised Renshaw to take precautions to ensure his media devices were not linked to other members in the group, the court heard.

Atkinson, prosecuting, said: “The politically and racially motivated killing of an MP would be an act of terrorism, and Renshaw is charged with preparing to carry out just an act.”

Mullen, believing that Renshaw was serious and there was a real and imminent threat to life, reported what had been said to his contacts at Hope Not Hate, after which Cooper was warned of the threat and a police investigation was launched.

National Action was the first extreme rightwing group to be proscribed since the second world war, and the 85th group to be proscribed in the UK overall.
The Guardian

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a Gladius Machete to kill Rosie Cooper last summer

Jack Renshaw has admitted plotting to kill the MP

Jack Renshaw has admitted plotting to kill the MP

An alleged National Action member has admitted plotting to murder an MP.

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a Gladius Machete to kill Rosie Cooper last summer.

On the opening day of his trial, Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism as well as making a threat to kill police officer Victoria Henderson.

Judge Mr Justice Jay directed the jury to deliver a formal guilty verdict on the first two charges Renshaw faces.

He is on trial alongside Christopher Lythgoe, 32, from Warrington, who denies giving Renshaw permission to murder the West Lancashire MP on behalf of National Action on July 1 last year.

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

The pair, along with Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Merseyside, Matthew Hankinson, 24, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, Andrew Clarke, 33, and Michal Trubini, 35, both of Warrington, also deny membership of the banned far right group.

The case continues in court.

 Court sketch of the accused sat in the Old Bailey (Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS.com)

Court sketch of the accused sat in the Old Bailey (Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS.com)

Daily Mirror