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Jo Cox's body released to her family

Published 24/06/2016

Jo Cox was shot and stabbed in Birstall
Jo Cox was shot and stabbed in Birstall

The body of Labour MP Jo Cox has been released to her family so they can "get on with the grieving process", a coroner has ruled, more than a week after her death sent shockwaves around the globe.

The inquest heard a second post-mortem examination was not required on the body of the 41-year-old, who died on Thursday last week after being attacked outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire.

Sitting at Bradford Coroners Court, coroner Martin Fleming confirmed the mother-of-two died from multiple stab and gunshot wounds.

Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police, told the six-minute hearing that it was immediately clear to paramedics and police attending the crime scene that Mrs Cox was "very seriously injured indeed".

Mr Wallen said medics worked to save her life but she was pronounced dead by a doctor in an ambulance outside Birstall library on June 16.

The detective said lawyers for Thomas Mair, the man charged with murdering the Batley and Spen MP, did not require a second post-mortem examination.

The coroner said this meant he could release Mrs Cox's body "so the family can get on with the grieving process".

The inquest was adjourned until the completion of the criminal case.

None of Mrs Cox's family were in court for the hearing.

Mr Wallen gave brief details about what happened in Birstall, saying the first injured person spotted by police and paramedics was Bernard Kenny - the pensioner who was stabbed as he came to Mrs Cox's aid.

The officer told the court: "On Thursday June 16 2016, at just after 12.52pm, both the police and ambulance service were called by a number of emergency calls to Market Street in Birstall town centre where initial information was that a man armed with a gun and knife had attacked and seriously injured a man and a woman.

"Police officers and paramedics arrived quickly at the scene and firstly found a male named Bernard Carter Kenny, aged 77, being tended to by members of the public.

"He had sustained a stab wound to the abdomen."

Mr Wallen said the emergency services also found a woman being tended to by members of the public "who, it was immediately clear, was very seriously injured indeed".

He said: "A number of people informed the police that the lady was Jo Cox, member of parliament for Batley and Spen."

The detective said Mrs Cox was taken into an ambulance by paramedics and emergency doctors who "tended to her but were unable to save her life".

He said she was pronounced dead at 1.48pm.

The coroner was told that Mrs Cox was formally identified by her sister, Kim Leadbeater, at a mortuary in Bradford.

Mr Wallen confirmed that Mair has been charged with murder and other offences and is due to appear at the Old Bailey again later this year.

Opening proceedings, the coroner said Mrs Cox's death was "very sad". He referred to her full name - Helen Joanne Cox.

The death prompted a huge wave of shock and emotion around the UK and across the world.

Her widower Brendan and their children marked what would have been Mrs Cox's 42nd birthday at an event in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday along with people at gatherings around the world.

Earlier in the week, they heard Prime Minister David Cameron praise the young MP as "a voice of compassion whose irrepressible spirit and boundless energy lit up the lives of all who knew her".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said British society had lost "one of our very best".

Mr Cameron and Mr Corbyn visited Birstall market square to add their tributes to a sea of floral memorials yards from where the tragedy happened.

Mrs Cox had only been an MP for just over a year, having been elected for the Batley and Spen constituency, where she grew up, in last year's general election.

Her dedication to a range of causes, both as an MP and in her previous work with development charities, has drawn praise from all sides of the political spectrum and prompted calls for a rethink of the public's attitude to public figures and the nature of political discourse.

Her death has led to a fresh debate about how to protect politicians.

Former miner Mr Kenny, who turned 78 on what would have been Ms Cox's birthday, was released from hospital earlier this week.

Calls have been growing for him to be honoured for his bravery.

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