It is the longest prison sentence imposed in New Zealand’s legal history and a sentence never used before in the country.
Judge Cameron Mander delivered Tarrant’s fate after a four-day marathon hearing in which 91 victims were confronted with the murderer in court, recounting the physical, emotional and mental scars his crimes left on their lives.
“You showed no mercy. It was brutal and absolutely callous – your actions were inhumane, ”Judge Mander told him.
He continued, “As far as I know, you are devoid of any empathy towards your victims.
“You said you were in a poisoned emotional state at the time, and terribly unhappy. You felt ostracized by society and wanted to harm society out of revenge. ”
Tarrant, who represented himself at the hearing, chose not to address the court, but asked reserve attorney Pip Hall to speak on his behalf.
“Mr. Tarrant does not oppose the demand that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole,” Mr. Hall said.
The judge turned to Brenton Tarrant to ask if he wanted to speak. ” No. Thank you, ”Tarrant replied calmly.
Crown attorney Mark Zarifeh had argued that life without parole was the only appropriate sentence. “The enormity of the offense cannot be compared.
“The offender planned and prepared his attacks, he caused permanent and immeasurable harm. The offender is clearly New Zealand’s worst murderer. ”
Mr Zarifeh told the court that “Tarrant seemed to show remorse in describing his own offense to a psychiatrist as heinous.”
But he added, “Tarrant couldn’t control his urge to offend, although he knew on some level that it was wrong. ”
The 29-year-old Australian initially denied all charges against him but later admitted 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the shooting in 2019 in two mosques in Christchurch which he broadcast live on Facebook.
Tarrant was largely unemotional over the past three days in court, as more than 90 victims gave poignant accounts of the attack and its traumatic impact on their lives.
Grieving victims rejected Tarrant’s white supremacist worldview and urged the court to make sure he is never released.
Aden Diriye’s young son was shot dead in the massacre and his statement read by his other son, Abdiramen Ibrahim.
In it he said: “This terrorist killed my beloved three year old son, and to me it is as if you killed all of New Zealand.” ”
Ahad Nabi lost his elderly father, Haji Mohemmed Daoud Nabi, and also spoke directly to Tarrant, saying, “You hurt my father, but you never took me away.
“While you are in prison you will come to the reality that you are now in hell and that only fire awaits you.
“Your father was a garbage collector, you have become a waste of society, he is ashamed of your identity. You deserved to be buried in a landfill.
Prosecutors had said Tarrant wanted to instill fear in those he called invaders and that he carefully planned the attacks to cause maximum carnage.