The gunman of last year's terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court on Thursday. The sentence came after three days of the final hearing of the case.
The 29-year-old Australian gunman, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, killed 51 people and injured 40 others on March 15, 2019.
Tarrant murdered 44 people at the Al Noor Mosque and killed seven more at the nearby Linwood Mosque. He also injured 40 others in the mass shooting, according to the prosecutor.
The gunman conducted a research of the view of the Al Noor Mosque by flying a drone over the mosque in January 2019. "The planned time for entry was to ensure the maximum number of worshippers would be present", according to the summary presented at the court.
According to his interview with the police, Tarrant said he had planned to burn the mosques down and wanted to "inflict as many fatalities as possible". He was on the way to another mosque in Ashburton, 85 km southwest of Christchurch, to carry out another attack when he was stopped by the police.
Justice Cameron Mander
Judge Cameron Mander of the Christchurch High Court said that a finite term would not be sufficient.
"Your crimes ... are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation," said Mander as he handed down a sentence unprecedented in New Zealand legal history.
"Your actions were inhuman,'' the judge said. "You deliberately killed a 3-year-old infant as he clung to the leg of his father... As far as I can discern, you are empty of any empathy for your victims.
"You present as a deeply impaired person motivated by a base hatred of people you perceive to be different from yourself," said Justice Mander.
"You have offered no apology or public acknowledgement of the harms you have caused," he added.
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