A New Zealand court sentenced a man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers to life imprisonment without parole in New Zealand ‘s deadliest attack, the first time such a sentence has been handed down in the world. Brenton Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, has confessed to 51 murder charges, 40 counts of attempted murder and one complaint of committing a terrorist act after the 2019 shooting spree at two Christchurch mosques that he livestreamed on Facebook.
Brenton Tarrant, a white nationalist, told the court on Wednesday that he would not be speaking ahead of the sentence handed down by Justice Cameron Mander, but would rather make a statement through a court-appointed lawyer. The decision relieved some fears that Tarrant, who had opted to defend himself, would use his plea in court to express his radical philosophy. The 29-year-old Australian initially pleaded not guilty to all charges against him but later confessed to 51 murder charges, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorist act committed.
During the last three days, Tarrant has been mostly emotionless as more than 90 victims gave harrowing accounts of the attack and its horrific impact on their lives. The mourning victims rejected the white supremacist world view of Tarrant, and urged the court to impose the toughest sentence practicable. Prosecutors told the court that Tarrant wanted to instil fear in those he identified as attackers and designed the attacks carefully to inflict maximum devastation.