16/11/2016 12:12 GMT | Updated 16/11/2016 12:13 GMT

Jo Cox Murder Trial Hears Moment Suspect Thomas Mair Was Rugby Tackled To Ground By Police

He allegedly said 'it's me' to officers.

A far right extremist told police “it’s me” before he was rugby tackled to the ground after the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, a court has heard.

Thomas Mair, 53, is accused of repeatedly shooting and stabbing the 41-year-old Remain campaigner a week before the EU referendum vote.

Mrs Cox was set upon outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, in front of her staff and shocked passersby, The Press Association reports.

Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Court sketch of Thomas Mair in the dock at the Old Bailey
Yui Mok/PA Wire
Jo Cox was killed in June, a week before the EU referendum

Her assistant stepped in and hit Mair with her handbag while 77-year-old Bernard Carter-Kenny desperately tried to intervene but was stabbed too, the court heard.

Throughout the “cowardly” killing, the defendant was heard to rant “Britain first”, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC has told jurors.

The gardener, who had looked up right wing literature in his local library, was arrested a mile away from the attack, jurors were told.

Pc Craig Nicholls was on mobile police patrol with Pc Jonathan Wright in Risedale Avenue where they arrested Mair.

The unarmed officers had been given a description of a man to look out for who was suspected of being involved in a shooting.

Pc Nicholls told jurors they spotted a suspect matching the description just after 1.30pm in nearby Leeds Road carrying a black holdall.

He said: “We drove past him initially. I spun the vehicle around. That’s when he disappeared.”

Victoria Jones/PA Wire
PC Craig Nicholls (left) and PC Jonathan Wright arrive at the Old Bailey to give evidence

Pc Nicholls turned into a cul-de-sac and saw the man in the middle of the road.

His colleague leaned out and ordered him “several times” to put the bag down and show his hands.

The West Yorkshire Police officer told jurors: “He dropped the bag to his right hand side. He turned around and it was very quick, put his hands into his pockets. 

“I just remember seeing loose change fall out of his pockets.

“At that point he put his arms out and said ‘it’s me’.”

The officer told jurors that they then “rugby tackled him to the ground”.

The defendant then told officers “I’m a political activist”, the officer said.

Mair denies Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon - a dagger.

Mair also pleads not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Bernard Carter-Kenny on the same date.