Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was relieved that “that person will never see the light of day”.
A New Zealand court sentenced a man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in the country’s deadliest shooting to life in prison without parole, the first time such a sentence has been handed down in the country.
Brenton Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 counts 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.
High Court Judge Cameron Mander said in Christchurch on Thursday that a finite term would not be sufficient.
“Your crimes, however, are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation,” said Mander in handing down the sentence.
“As far as I can discern, you are empty of any empathy for your victims,” he said.
* Judge says shooting massacre was “wicked crime”
* Life in prison will not exhaust punishment, judge
* Shooter Tarrant showed no emotion when sentenced
* NZ Muslims welcome justice, but still grieving
* PM Ardern says NZ is a united nation
Tarrant, dressed in grey prison clothes and surrounded by guards, did not react to the sentence.
Prosecutors told the court earlier that Tarrant wanted to instill fear in those he described as invaders and that he carefully planned the attacks to cause maximum carnage.
“Today the legal procedures for this heinous crime has been done. No punishment will bring our loved ones back,” said Gamal Fouda, the Imam of Al Noor mosque which was targeted.