A man who plotted to kill his local MP with a 19-inch knife has avoided a retrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict on whether he was a member of a neo-Nazi group.
Jack Renshaw, 23, admitted making preparations to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer, but denied membership of the banned National Action group.
A jury at his retrial was discharged, having failed to reach verdicts after more than 48 hours of deliberations and prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said he could not seek a third trial.
Speaking after the trial, Ms Cooper said: "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, to ensure that good, dedicated, hard-working public servants are not put off entering public life because they fear for their safety, or indeed their lives.”
The murder plan was scuppered by whistle-blower Robbie Mullen, who reported the threat to anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate.
Describing the meeting in the Friar Penketh, Mr Mullen, from Widnes, Cheshire, told jurors: "He said he was going to kill his local MP, Rosie Cooper. I said 'Are you sure?' and he said 'Yeah'.
"He said he would kill her, then try to take some hostages to lure the police officer that was investigating him to try to kill her because she was the reason behind it all.”
National Action is the first extreme right-wing group to be proscribed by the Government since the Second World War after its support for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
After the jury was discharged, Renshaw was remanded into custody to be sentenced on May 17.
It can now be reported that Renshaw was jailed last June for 16 months for gromming two underage boys online.
Jurors at Preston Crown Court found him guilty of four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.