The white supremacist killer, responsible for the death of Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last year, has finally been sentenced on Thursday 27 August 2020 to life imprisonment without parole.
Australian national Brenton Tarrant, 29 had earlier pleaded guilty to all 92 charges: one of engaging in a terrorist act, 51 of murder, and 40 of attempted murder.
The judge at Christchurch High Court had convicted Tarrant on all charges and remanded him in custody to await sentencing that commenced on Monday 24 August 2020 with victims statements in the presence of the convict at the court, lasting almost the whole of this week.
The NZ government had offered overseas-based relatives of those killed and injured to receive financial help and border exemptions to address the court during this week.
In front of Justice Cameron Mander, the Mosque attack victims lined up to confront the mass killer in court with mounting anger, calling him a cowardly rat who deserved the death penalty.
English-born Nathan Smith who was praying at Al Noor Mosque the day Tarrant killed men, women and children spoke at the court addressing the killer.
“You took them away in a cowardly way. After you left I was surrounded by the dying, the injured and the dead.”
“You killed in my name. I am white. Muslim and proud. All you have done is cause great shame for Europeans all around the world.”
“Your actions were of gutless character of a person. There’s nothing heroic about your shooting, shooting people from behind and people not having a chance of defending themselves,” said Ahad Nabi, whose father was killed in the attacks. “My 71-year-old dad would have broken you in half if you had challenged him to a fight.
You are weak.”Noraini Milne, whose 14-year-old son Sayyad was shot in the back of the head while he knelt in prayer, told Tarrant: “You are already dead to me. Whatever punishment you get will never be enough.”
Dr Hamimah Tuyan, wife of the 51st victim who died almost seven weeks after the attack gave along statement at the Christchurch High Court describing the impact of her husband’s loss on her and their young sons.
While addressing the killer she said, “You put bullets into my husband and he fought death – 48 days, 18 surgeries – until his last breath. His status then was uplifted to martyr, from hero, and for me, from wife to the martyr’s widow.”
“God says in the Qur’an whoever kills one innocent soul, it is as if he has killed the entire mankind. And you killed 51. They left behind 34 spouses, 92 children and more than a hundred siblings who now have to endure the life sentence of being without their loved ones,” she said.
Survivors, family members, they all spoke of graphic flashbacks, blood, gunfire, refugee stories, Islamophobia, sleepless nights, mental scars, financial woes, remembering the missing loved ones, those recovering from their injuries and also forgiveness.
“I decided to forgive you Mr Tarrant, because I don’t have hate. I don’t have revenge … The damage was done and Hussein will never be here so I have only one choice, is to forgive you,” said Janna Ezat, mother of Hussein Al-Umari, 35, gunned down at Al Noor Mosque.