Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny visiting the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch to lay a wreath and pay their respects to the victims of the twin mosque terror attack. Photograph:( AFP )
Last year, in an admission to the police, Tarrant said he wished he had killed more people. He doctored the triggers to make his weapons fire faster and used a strobe light to blind his victims
Today was the verdict day for the man who killed 51 people in a mosque shooting in New Zealand last year on March 15. The families of the victims, and the victims to managed to survive the carnage were present in the court for the four-days long hearing.
The shooter, Brenton Tarrant, has been sentenced to life in prison for killing 51 people in cold blood while live streaming the act on Facebook for 17 minutes.
The Christchurch shootings were beyond shocking. They showed the world how hatred and terror are amplified on social media. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of New Zealand.
Brenton Tarrant opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch. He entered while the Friday prayers were going on and opened fire on worshippers.
This week, the trial has concluded and it is safe to say that the four day sentencing hearing was a mere formality.
The verdict was foregone conclusion as the terrorist showed no guilt or remorse for what he had done.
He was charged with the murder of 51 people and the attempted murder of another 40 people. There was one charge of terrorism, and today he has been found guilty for all these counts.
Last year, in an admission to the police, Tarrant said he wished he had killed more people. He doctored the triggers to make his weapons fire faster and used a strobe light to blind his victims.
Through this week, as he was being sentenced, Tarrant appeared emotionless and showed no remorse even when he was confronted by almost 90 victims.
In the last three days, many people came face-to-face with the man who killed their loved ones. The testimonies were moving and heartbreaking.
Maysoon Salama, who lost her son in the attack, faced the terrorist while holding back her tears and said, "I constantly try to imagine how my beloved ata felt at the moment of the attack, how he faced the shooter with his chest armed only with his courage like others. What was in his mind when he realised he is departing this life to his last journey? How is life going to be without him being around?
"May you get the severest punishment for your evil act in this life and in the hereafter, we know that allah is the most just.
"Ata is gone but never forgotten, he will always be the light of our lives and we will live his legacy everyday."
Justice Cameron Mander, the judge presiding over the hearings showed no mercy. and announced the first terrorism conviction in his country.
Since New Zealand does not have the death penalty as part of its justice system, Mander handed down the toughest sentence possible — a life sentence without the possibility of a parole.
"It is difficult to look beyond the wicked nature of each murder. And pain and suffering you have caused to individual victims, to their families and loved ones," Judge Mander said.
"It was brutal and beyond callous. Your actions were inhuman," he continued.
The victims and their families celebrated outside the court by raising their hands and fists, and greeting supporters with roses and signs painted with hearts.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she is relieved by the verdict. "Well this is, this has. This has been a crime in new zealand the likes of which have never occurred before. And now we've seen a sentence the likes of which we've seen before as well. But yes, it gave me relief, to know that that person will never see the light of day."