Life sentence for white supremacist in MP murder plot

|News, Terrorism

A far right extremist who planned to murder his local MP with a sword has been sentenced to life today.

Last year Jack Renshaw, 23, pleaded guilty to planning to commit a terrorist act which included buying a sword of the type used by Roman soldiers. His target was Rosie Cooper, the MP for West Lancashire.

He also pleaded guilty to making threats to kill a police officer who had been investigating him for an unrelated matter.

The CPS presented evidence that in his warped imagination the virulently racist Renshaw saw the murder as a blow against a “Jewish-controlled state” oppressing the white community. He saw the MP as a traitor who deserved to die as she represented a false democracy.

Before sentencing him the judge at the Old Bailey heard how Renshaw was serving a three year prison term for stirring up racial hatred in two anti-Semitic speeches in 2016.

At another trial last year he was also sentenced to 16 months for child sex offences.

Renshaw admitted being a member of racist group National Action until it was banned as a terrorist organisation in December 2016.

Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said: “A crime of this type against anyone is a serious matter but when our MPs are targeted it is also an attack on the democratic process and public service.

“Jack Renshaw was prepared to act on his white supremacist world view and plotted to kill a Member of Parliament – a plan reminiscent of the abhorrent murder of Jo Cox MP.

“He also made threats against a police officer and his prison sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences.”

Renshaw was given a life sentence on 17 May and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Building the case

The evidence presented by the CPS that led to his guilty pleas included Renshaw’s online research in May 2017 on cutting the jugular artery and how long it would take someone to die from the wound.

The following month he bought the sword which was described by the online seller as offering “19 inches of unprecedented piercing and slashing power at a bargain price”.

Robbie Mullen, an acquaintance of Renshaw’s in extremist circles, was a key witness for the prosecution. He began passing information to Hope Not Hate, an anti-extremist group.

This included details of a meeting between Renshaw and others on 1 July 2017 at a pub in Warrington. The meeting was captured by CCTV.

At the meeting, Renshaw told others of his plan to murder his local MP and admitted he had already bought the weapon.

Notes to editors

  • In June 2018 at the Old Bailey, Jack Renshaw (DOB: 03/06/1995) pleaded guilty to:
    • Between 5 June and 3 July 2017, engaging in conduct in preparation of a terrorist act, contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (relates to plot to murder Rosie Cooper MP). Sentence: Life imprisonment – minimum term 20 years
    • On 1 July 2017 made a threat to kill, contrary to section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (relates to police officer). Sentence: 7 years’ imprisonment concurrent to count 1 above.
    • His sentence also includes a 30 years notification order.
  • He had been remanded in custody pending the conclusion of another trial before he could be sentenced.
  • Renshaw has previously been sentenced to:
    • Three year sentence for two offences of stirring up racial hatred
    • Sixteen month sentence for two offences of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
  • Jenny Hopkins is Head of the Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS.

Further reading