A 29 year old Australian terrorist who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand’s deadliest shooting in 2019 has been sentenced to life without parole.
The prison term is the longest handed out in New Zealand’s legal history, and it is a penalty which have never used in the country.
Justice Cameron Mander who delivered Brenton Tarrant’s fate after a marathon four-day-hearing said, “You showed no mercy. It was brutal and beyond callous – your actions were inhumane,”
“As far as I am able to gauge you are empty of any empathy to your victims.” Mander added.
He continued that “You have said you were in a poisoned emotional state at the time, and terribly unhappy. You felt ostracised by society and wanted to damage society as revenge.”
Tarrant, who represented himself at the hearing chose not to address the court, but instructed standby lawyer Pip Hall to speak on his behalf.
“Mr Tarrant does not oppose the application he should be sentenced to life in prison without parole,” Mr Hall said.
The judge turning to Brenton Tarrant asked him if he wanted to speak.
“No. Thank you,” Tarrant replied quietly.
Crown Lawyer Mark Zarifeh had argued life without parole was the only appropriate sentence. “The enormity of the offending cannot be compared.”
“The offender planned and prepared his attacks, he has caused permanent and immeasurable harm. The offender is clearly New Zealand’s worst murderer.” he added.
Mr Zarifeh told the court that “Tarrant appeared to show some remorse describing his own offending to a psychiatrist as abhorrent.”
However, he added: “Tarrant could not control his impulse to offend, despite knowing on some level it was wrong.”
Brenton Tarrant had initially denied all charges against him but later admitted to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the 2019 shooting rampage at two Christchurch mosques which he livestreamed on Facebook.