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Mosque terrorist sentenced to life without parole

Aug 27, 2020

Warning - This story discusses details of the 15 March Christchurch mosque shootings.

The man who carried out the mosque attacks in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of ever leaving jail.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 29, has admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge of terrorism.

He has received the historic sentence in the High Court at Christchurch today. It marks the first time a convicted person has ever been imprisoned with no possibility of parole.

Many of the victims who have been delivering their harrowing statements in court this week urged the judge to impose the sentence.

The possibility of such a sentence was one of the many complexities facing Justice Mander, the Law Society said earlier this week.

A steady stream of people started entering the High Court from the time the doors opened at 8am today.

White roses were handed out to the victims as they arrived in court. They were donated as a gesture of support from two women.

A woman and child arrive at court this morning. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The last group of 93 victims read their impact statements yesterday afternoon - a marked increase on the 66 that were expected.

Community adviser and former Christchurch city councillor Raf Manji, who delivered some of the impact statements on behalf of the victims, said victims had been empowered by the way the hearing had been handled.

"In the end it has been a real healing process for a lot of people," Manji said.

The session today began with the Crown making its submissions before Pip Hall QC, who has been on standby, made submissions on behalf of Tarrant.

Late yesterday it emerged that Tarrant, who is representing himself, would not address the judge to offer any mitigating factors to explain the motivation behind his crimes.



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