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New Zealand mosque attacks New Zealand mosque attacks  (AFP or licensors)

Christchurch shooter sentenced to life without parole

A New Zealand judge sentences an Australian man to life in prison without parole on Thursday for killing 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch in March of last year.

By Vatican News

Life in prison without parole. That was the sentence handed down to 29-year-old Brenton Tarrant by Christchurch High Court Judge Cameron Mander.

The judge, pronouncing the sentence, said that Tarrant had shown no remorse for his actions.

He added, "Your crimes...are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation."

This is the first time a court in New Zealand has sentenced a person to prison without the prospect of parole.

Justice for victims

Following the sentence, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was relieved that "that person will never see the light of day."

"The trauma of March 15 is not easily healed but today I hope is the last where we have any cause to hear or utter the name of the terrorist behind it. His deserves to be a lifetime of complete and utter silence," she said.

During the sentencing hearing that began on Monday, survivors and families gave emotional statements in court.

Hearing the sentence on Thursday, Hina Amir, who was outside Al Noor mosque when Tarrant shot at her and her husband in their car, said she was relieved that justice was done.

Crime committed

The attack prompted a ban on firearms in New Zealand.

On March 15, 2019, Tarrant stormed two Christchurch mosques shooting at Muslims gathered for Friday prayers. He live-streamed the attack on Facebook.

He killed 44 people at Al Noor, including a three year old boy. He then continued the carnage by attacking a second mosque nearby, shooting another seven people.

Tarrant admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act.

27 August 2020, 12:16