A NEWTON-LE-WILLOWS man accused of being a member of a banned extremist terror group has made a first Crown Court appearance at the Old Bailey.

Matthew Hankinson, 23, of Market Street, Earlestown, appeared at the court alongside five other alleged members of group National Action.

Others who also appeared included Christopher Lythgoe, 31, of Greymist Avenue, Woolston, Warrington, who is accused of encouraging the machete murder of West Lancashire Labour MP Rosie Cooper.

Lythgoe allegedly granted a fellow member of the banned group permission to carry out an attack on July 1.

A 22-year-old man from Lancashire, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who is charged with intending to commit acts of terrorism contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 also appeared.

He is alleged to have bought a “Gladius Machete” for the purpose of murdering the MP between June 5 and July 3.

He is also accused of making threats to kill a woman police officer on July 1.

The man and Lythgoe are also both charged with being members of National Action.

Also Garron Helm, 24, Gladstone Road, Seaforth; Andrew Clarke, 33, of Marsh House Lane, Paddington, Warrington and Michael Trubini, 35, Dutton Court, Warrington also appeared at the Old Bailey accused of continuing to be members of National Action after the group was banned under UK law on December 16.

No pleas were entered during the hearing.

The defendants have been remanded in custody to await trial, earmarked for June 11.