New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant was on Thursday sentenced to life without parole over the attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers last year, after survivors demanded he remain behind bars “until his last gasp”.
Tarrant, 29, has faced a four-day sentencing in Christchurch – the scene of his on March 15, 2019 – with more than 90 witnesses providing harrowing testimony of the horrors inflicted in New Zealand’s worst terror attack.
The Australian white supremacist admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism over the attacks, after reversing an initial plea of not guilty.
The sentence makes him the first person in New Zealand imprisoned for life without the prospect of parole.
High Court Judge Cameron Mander said 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,” Mander said when handing down the sentence. “As far as I can discern, you are empty of any empathy for your victims.
“It is incumbent on the court to respond in a way that decisively rejects such vicious malevolence,” Mander said, condemning Tarrant’s “warped” ideology and “base hatred”.