Christchurch mosque shooting: Terrorist who attacked two mosques in New Zealand sentenced to life in prison

Brenton Harrison Tarrant will have no possibility of parole.

The Australian gunman who killed dozens of people during attacks on two mosques in New Zealand has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant had pleaded guilty during court proceedings in Christchurch to murder, attempted murder and terrorism over the attacks in the city which left 51 people dead.

Hide Ad
Read More
Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Two deaths from the virus recorded for the first t...
John Kirk-Anderson/Pool Photo via AP
Hide Ad

In imposing the sentence for the first time in the country's history, Judge Cameron Mander said that the white supremacist's crimes were so wicked that a life time in jail could not begin to atone for them.

Mr Mander said: "Your actions were inhuman. You deliberately killed a 3-year-old infant as he clung to the leg of his father."

Hide Ad

The judge at the high court in Christchurch noted Tarrant had recently told assessors that he now rejects his extremist philosophy and considers his attacks "abhorrent and irrational".

But Mr Mander said the sincerity of that change of heart was questionable and Tarrant had still shown no empathy toward his victims or sorrow for what he had done.

Hide Ad

During the four-day sentencing hearing, 90 survivors and family members recounted the horror of the attacks and the trauma they continue to feel.

Some chose to yell at the gunman and give him the finger. Others called him a monster, a coward and a rat. Some sung verses from the Quran or addressed him in Arabic, while a few spoke softly and said they forgave him.

Hide Ad

Tarrant had earlier fired his lawyers and told the judge that he did not wish to speak at the hearing. A standby lawyer appointed by the court told the judge that Tarrant did not oppose a sentence of life without parole.

Dressed in a gray prison tracksuit, Tarrant showed little emotion during his sentencing. He watched the speakers, occasionally giving a small nod or covering his mouth as he laughed at jokes, often made at his expense.

Hide Ad

The attacks targeting people praying at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques shocked New Zealand and prompted new laws banning the deadliest types of semi-automatic weapons.

Reporting by PA

Hide Ad

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

Hide Ad

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

Hide Ad

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.