Jack Renshaw National Action trial: Jury fails to reach verdict

A man who plotted the murder of an MP will not face a retrial for membership of a banned neo-Nazi group.

Jack Renshaw, from Skelmersdale in Lancashire, bought a machete to kill Labour‘s Rosie Cooper and a police officer against whom he had a grudge.

The 23-year-old admitted preparing an act of terrorism but denied membership of National Action.

After a seven-week retrial, the Old Bailey jury said it was unable to reach a unanimous or majority verdict.

It can now be reported for the first time that Renshaw was last year convicted of grooming two adolescent boys online for sex.

During the first Old Bailey trial last year, he admitted a terrorist plot to murder Ms Cooper with a 19in (48cm) Gladius knife.

He also pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill detective Victoria Henderson, who was investigating him for sexual offences.

Renshaw‘s terrorist plot, for which he will be sentenced on 17 May, was foiled after a whistleblower – former National Action member Robbie Mullen – warned the anti-racism charity Hope not Hate, which then informed police.

Ms Cooper said: “I was targeted, not as Rosie Cooper the person, but as Rosie Cooper the MP. I was to be murdered to send a message to the state.

“Our way of life, our democracy and our freedoms are being attacked by the likes of Renshaw and extremist groups like National Action.”

“We‘ve got to do so much more to protect our democracy,” she added.

The retrial jury was also unable to decide whether Andrew Clarke, 34, of Prescot, Merseyside, and Michal Trubini, 36, of Warrington, Cheshire, remained members of National Action after it was proscribed in December 2016.

The British group, founded in 2013, was banned three years later under anti-terror laws.

Jurors, who had deliberated for more than 48 hours, have been discharged.

The prosecution said it would not be seeking a third trial.

Renshaw had set out his murder plot during a meeting in a Warrington pub on 1 July 2017.

Jurors heard those present included Renshaw and Clarke. Mr Trubini, a Slovakian national who came to the UK over a decade ago, had been present earlier in the evening.

Last summer, a jury was unable to decide whether Renshaw, Clarke and Mr Trubini had remained members of National Action.

Hope not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles said he owed a “great debt of gratitude” to whistleblower Mr Mullen for his bravery and putting “his own life in danger”.

He said National Action was part of a “more extreme breed of neo-Nazis that vilified Jews… encouraged violence and… wanted to ignite a race war in Britain”.

‘Called for genocide‘

Renshaw had earlier been convicted at Preston Crown Court of four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He had groomed two boys – aged between 13 and 15 at time – using a fake Facebook profile.

He had claimed Hope Not Hate wanted to discredit him and maliciously hacked his mobile phones to send messages of a sexual nature to the teenagers.

But jurors did not believe him and he was jailed for 16 months in June 2018.

Renshaw also received a three-year prison sentence two months earlier when he was found guilty by a different jury at the same court of stirring up racial hatred after he called for the genocide of Jewish people.