Relatives of victims of the Christchurch mosque massacre have pleaded with the judge at the killer’s sentencing hearing to make sure he is never freed.
On the third day of the hearing, Brenton Tarrant was described as a coward, weak and a heinous terrorist. He will hear his fate on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Australian has admitted killing 51 men, women and children while they prayed at two city mosques last year.
Tarrant has also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a further 40 worshippers, and a charge of terrorism.
The day was once again dominated by heartfelt and emotional Victim Impact Statements. Tarrant showed little emotion as he listened to the testimony.
Aden Diriye’s young son was shot dead in the massacre. His statement was 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 though you have killed the whole of New Zealand.”
He described of how his young boy played in the mosque and was adored by everyone there, and at home how he would run around pretending to be a cop and wear a police uniform.
Mr Diriye looked Tarrant directly in the eye, as his words were read to the court: “Know that true justice is waiting for you in the next life and that will be far more severe.”
Ahad Nabi who lost his elderly father Haji Mohemmed Daoud Nabi, also spoke directly to Tarrant. “You hurt my father, but you never took him away from me. You physically hurt him, but gifted my father with becoming a martyr.
“I do not forgive you, while you are in prison you will come to the reality that you are now in hell and only the fire awaits you.
“You father was a garbage man, you became trash of society, he is ashamed of your identity. You deserved to be buried in a landfill.
“My 71-year-old dad would have broken you in half if you had challenged him to a fight. You are weak.”
John Milne’s 14-year old son Sayyad Milne was shot in the back of his head while he knelt in prayer. “I’ve forgiven you Brenton,” he said.
“You are a terrorist, a murderer but still a man. Not a single bullet hit me, but there’s a huge hole in my heart – if you get the chance I would like you to say sorry.”
Tarrant faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, but the high court judge, Justice Cameron Mander, has the option of sentencing Tarrant to life in prison without parole, a penalty never before used in New Zealand.