Police officer was 'real target' of right-wing murder plot
A 23-yA 23-year-old member of a neo-Nazi group has admitted planning the murder of Labour MP Rosie Cooper. ear-old member of a neo-Nazi group has admitted planning the murder of Labour MP Rosie Cooper.
Jack Renshaw allegedly belonged to National Action, the first far-right group to become proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.
In the first day of his and five other members’ trial at the Old Bailey (June 12), Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism and threatening to kill a police officer, Lancashire Constabulary’s Detective Constable Victoria Henderson.
Police found a 19-inch machete hidden in his uncle’s airing cupboard, which the defendant had boasted about purchasing online to use in the attack on the MP.
He has been arrested for a number of offences in the past, including stirring up racial hatred in January 2017, while belonging to the British National Party (BNP) Youth division. Det Con Henderson had interviewed the 23-year-old defendant in relation to these offences.
The court was told by a disaffected member of the group that Renshaw’s “real target” was Detective Constable Henderson. When he met with the other defendants in July 2017, he proposed taking hostages to demand the officer attend so he could murder her.
National Action was banned in December 2016 after it publicly praised the murder of MP Jo Cox.
Alongside Renshaw, five other members are on trial over their alleged affiliation with the proscribed group after officers from Counter Terrorism North East and North West, Wales Extremism Counter Terrorism Unit and Wiltshire Police searched a number of addresses across England and Wales.
They include: Matthew Hankinson, 24; Andrew Clarke, 33; Christopher Lythgoe, 32; Michal Trubini, 35; and Garron Helm, 24.
All six defendants deny belonging to the group.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: “The proscription means that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment.”