Tarrant to be sentenced today

Victim impact statements continued yesterday in court in Christchurch as part of the sentencing process of mosque murderer Brenton Tarrant.

Tarrant was referred to as a coward, scum and a piece of shit. This seems extreme for a court but if people are to be alowed to say what they think these emotions are understandable. Tarrant committed the worst criminal acts in New Zealand, so the worst of descriptions are appropriate.

Tarant has already pleaded guilty to  51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Late yesterday the court was advised the gunman has instructed standby counsel Pip Hall QC to speak on his behalf and will not speak today.

A submission will also be made by Crown counsel.

The judge has been asked by a number of victims to impose the longest possible sentence in New Zealand, life without parole. This sentence has never been imposed before, but a crime this bad has never been committed before.

RNZ: Life without parole

In a small number of cases, the Crown has argued for life to mean life – in which a prisoner remains in jail until they die.

In a case last month, Paul Wilson was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum non-parole period of 28 years.

The longest sentence imposed by a New Zealand court is life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 30 years for the triple killings at an Auckland RSA in 2001.

New Zealand’s longest serving prisoner is Alfred Thomas Vincent, who has been in jail since 1968 for indecently assaulting five boys.

Being given a non-parole period does not mean a prisoner with a life sentence will be given parole. And if they are given parole they can be recalled to prison if the breach life long conditions of parole.

I think that for Tarrant life without parole is justified. It’s hard to imagine what would justify this maximum sentence if Tarrant isn’t given it. It would have to be at least longer than the current highest non-parole period of 30 years.

Tarrant will have to serve his whole prison sentence in New Zealand. There is currently no legal means of transferring him to Australia.


Reports of victim statements:

RNZ: Family of 3yo killed in mosque attacks confront gunman: ‘True justice is waiting for you in the next life’

The small child was clinging to his father’s leg among a group of worshippers – some dead or badly injured – in the north-eastern corner of the mosque’s main prayer room.

The young boy’s age and stature made no difference to the terrorist.

He took deliberate aim at the little boy and fired two shots.

Mucaad’s family this morning confronted his killer.

The family emigrated from Somalia in 1995 as refugees.

They were all New Zealand citizens and little Mucaad was born here.

“You killed my son, but to me it is as if you have killed the whole of New Zealand,” his father, Aden Diriye, said.

“He was adored by all and loved by any who gazed upon him.

“He used to engage in play with the police. At home he used to run around the house and pretend to be a cop and wear the police uniform. We thought one day he would become a cop.”

He could not understand the killer’s callous hatred, Mr Diriye said.

“I don’t know you. I never hurt you, your mother, your father or any of your friends. Rather I’m the kind of person who would help you with anything,” he said.

He told the terrorist he had united the country in grief.

Also from RNZ:

‘I saw the fear in his eyes,’ says man who chased killer

The contrast cannot be more stark. The bravery of a 15-year-old girl, and the cowardice of a 29-year-old terrorist.

A 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named, this afternoon confronted the terrorist directly during her victim impact statement.

“Why did you kill my dad? Why did you take the most important person away?” she asked him.

“He will always be in my heart and the hearts of those who love him. But you, you will be alone in prison.

“The only one who lost everything was you. Congratulations Mr Terrorist, you have failed.”

The terrorist’s cowardice was often pointed out during this afternoon’s session.

Sehan El Wakil told the terrorist he was a coward.

“If you were a real man you would have faced them [the victims], face-to-face, not with a gun behind their backs,” she said.

Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah, who chased Tarrant from Linwood Islamic Centre using an eftpos machine, told the terrorist he should thank Allah he did not catch him on 15 March 2019.

“He acts very tough but, to be honest with you, he’s nothing,” Wahabzadah said.

“You are a terrorist. You are a racist. You are a cold-blooded murderer who hides behind his weapons,” Feroz Ditta told Tarrant.

“Your time will come – that I can assure you, mate.

“For the rest of your life you won’t be able to embrace your parents and your family, and be part of their lives.

“You will no longer be able to hug your mother. They are at a loss because they have lost their son for the rest of their lives.”

And: Christchurch mosque attacks: ‘We defy your actions of hatred’ 

“I don’t go to the mosque so much now because I’m too scared to go there. It’s just too hard for me now because of the gun shooting that day and my best friend being shot dead there in front of me. This has changed everything in my life. I miss my best friend Matiullah – he was like a brother to me.”

– Taj Kamran, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“Burying one dead friend is heartbreaking but imagine burying a one of a kind. A one of a kind that is my son Ata and 49 beloved brothers and sisters in one go. No words can describe what my heart experienced at that time and is still experiencing.”

– Mohammad Alayyan, whose son Ata Elayyan was killed on 15 March 2019

“You took away not just the most amazing son, but the best father, husband, brother, friend, relative, neighbour, employer, team member, motivational speaker and a pious Muslim.”

– Maysoon Salama, whose son Ata Elayyan was killed on 15 March 2019

“Eternal happiness only exists in the hereafter in the highest heavens where one day my daughter and I will be reunited with our beloved Ata. Until then I will carry the heavy weight of our dreams and daydream about the uncompleted trips and plan the goals I wanted to achieve with my love. Our daughter will live in the shadows of her beloved father. She will know him through her eyes, as she has his, through our love and the love everyone has for him. His legacy will live forever.”

– Farah Kamal, whose husband Ata Elayyan was killed on 15 March 2019

“The first shots I heard made me turn and see the gunman enter. I witnessed fellow peaceful worshippers innocently gunned down. The gunman and I looked into each other’s eyes. I saw the moment when I was the target of his gun. I was shot nine times.”

– Temel Atacocugu, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“Syed left behind myself and three children, all under five years of age.”

Amna Ali, whose husband Syed Jahandad Ali was killed on 15 March 2019

“We always celebrated our birthdays together, which are one day apart. I’ll never be able to wake up to his cheeky gifts or contagious smiles again. My best friend was executed in cold-blooded murder out of hatred.”

– Aya Al Umari, whose brother Hussein Al-Umari was killed on 15 March 2019

“It was extremely painful to feel so helpless while watching your soulmate breathe his last breathe.”

– Saira Patel, whose husband Musa Patel was killed on 15 March 2019

“The day of the shocking mosque shooting at Linwood Mosque was like living a nightmare with everything coming to a stop and life revolving just around that one phone call I received and those messages from my mum saying ‘We are about to die and love you all’.”

– Irfan Patel, whose father Musa Patel was killed on 15 March 2019

“When I first got the news of the events of 15th March 2019 I was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We were heartbroken and clueless as we did not have any information on him. Once on the news we even saw a picture of someone on a stretcher wearing the same jacket as the one Ozair had. Those moments were the most difficult ones in our lives.”

– Kadir Habib, whose son Ozair Kadir was killed on 15 March 2019

“My parents and brother were the source of all emotional support, happiness and comfort for me. I used to visit my parents and stay with them in Pakistan regularly. The sudden death of all of them has really jolted me.”

– Mariam Gul, whose parents, Karam Bibi and Ghulam Hussain, and brother Muhammad Zeshan Raza were killed on 15 March 2019

“You killed 51 people and injured so many who were there to attend Friday prayers. We have grieved as a community. We have cried along with those families that have lost loved ones and yes we are stronger and defy your actions of hatred. We still find New Zealand to be one of safest countries to live.”

– Mohammad Siddiqui, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“I have spent a lot of time thinking about what transpired and what took place was unjust, unfair and there was no right for anyone to interfere in our place in our peaceful prayer time. My brother’s three children now yearn for their father and continue life without their daddy.”

– Zahid Ismail, whose brother Junaid Ismail was killed on 15 March 2019

“After the events of 15th March 2019 I don’t feel I have to hide my faith at work anymore. This has been a positive outcome for me. I have been more open in practicing my faith in the workplace . . . which was supported and respected by my colleagues.”

– Raesha Ismail, whose brother Junaid Ismail was killed on 15 March 2019

“The shot went through my right underarm and fortunately back out again. I was screaming to Ibrahim and Mostafa to get out, as they were at the front of the mosque. I remember seeing the defendant spray his bullets at the men sitting on the seats at the rear of the prayer room and as you can imagine this was so traumatic for me.”

– Salwa El Shazley, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“When the shooting started I remember I tried to get through a doorway into another room. It was then that I felt something, like a shudder, in my leg. I reached down and I saw and I felt the blood and the hole, and I knew I had been shot. I fell down. Someone else fell down near me and I saw people falling and being shot. I heard people calling for help.”

– Motasim Hafiz Uddin, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“My son now leaves this temporary world as a martyr. That’s a blessing that connects me more to God and helps me through life as I’m missing my son. I too was present in the mosque when so many lives left this temporary world by your hands. My survival comes as a great blessing and when I reflect on that day I’ve decided that I will live my life doing great things for our people and our community.”

– Noraini Milne, whose son Sayyad Milne was killed on 15 March 2019

“As a parent no matter how old your children are they will still be your babies forever. Our children bring out the best and worse in us. Two days later I went with my wife Rosemary to the mortuary to view Tariq’s body and to identify him. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Tariq was lying on the table lifeless. I couldn’t hold back my tears even though I was trying so hard to be strong for my wife. The tragic sudden loss of my son Tariq has taken a huge toll on me. I couldn’t function properly for a long time.”

– Rashid Omar, whose son Tariq Omar was killed on 15 March 2019

“I’m so proud to have him as my son. It’s good to remember the positives in Tariq’s life and not his tragic death and the circumstances surrounding that. But at times it’s very difficult to see any positives and even have the will to live.”

– Rosemary Omar, whose son Tariq Omar was killed on 15 March 2019

“He was three or four metres from me when he went and shot at me, missing my head by one inch and it went into my shoulder. I didn’t move, I didn’t make any noise. It took all my strength to continue to play dead even though I had been injured. The shooter seemed to think I was dead and left me alone.”

– Hazem Mohamed, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“My 71-year-old dad would have broke you in half if you challenged him to a fight, but you are weak. A sheep with a wolf’s jacket on.”

– Ahad Nabi, whose father Haji Daoud Nabi was killed on 15 March 2019

“You will be remembered as a scared killer and nothing more. And, yes, without even your name. Just an insignificant killer who’s lonely, scared and left behind to suffer for eternity.”

– Mustafa Boztas, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“As a family our lives have changed because now my wife has to do everything. Everyone relies on her and she is also worried about our financial situation because we don’t know how long ACC can cover me financially.”

– Rahimi Ahmad, who was shot on 15 March 2019

“I no longer feel safe in my own home, in my own country and I was always carry this heavy stone in my heart for a tragedy that was one tragedy too many. Though that aside with the aroha the beautiful people of Aotearoa have given us I can find pockets of hope and temporary freedom from this terror, this nightmare that we aren’t awakening from and I will always return to the reality that my beautiful father, Abdelfattah, is someone I can no longer speak to, hear or hug. All a daughter ever wants is her dad.”

– Sara Qasem, whose father Abdelfattah Qasem was killed on 15 March 2019

“I have forgiven you Brenton. Even though you murdered my 14-year-old son Sayyad. Not a single bullet hit me. I wasn’t even there, but there was a huge hole in my heart which will only heal when I meet Sayyad again in heaven. I hope to see you there too Brenton and if you get the chance I would love you to say sorry to Sayyad. I’m sure he’s forgiven you too.”

– John Milne, whose son Sayyad Milne was killed on 15 March 2019

“I want you to know you have not broken our society. You have made us even more visible as a Muslim community. You have made us even more visible globally on the map. You have shown New Zealand how important multiculturalism is. We are not broken because of your actions.”

– Jibran Safi, whose father Matiullah Safi was killed on 15 March 2019

“You put bullets into my husband and he fought death for 48 days, 18 surgeries until his last breathe. My eldest son has only five years’ worth of memories with his father. My wee one much less, not enough.”

– Hamimah Tuyan, whose husband Zekeriya Tuyan was killed on 15 March 2019

Leave a comment

31 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  27th August 2020

    “Tarrant was referred to as a coward, scum and a piece of shit. This seems extreme for a court but if people are to be alowed to say what they think these emotions are understandable..”

    This in the past was considered “abusive – comments should focus on how the offender’s actions in committing the offence affected you, rather than your views on the offender themselves.”

    Has a precedence been ser?

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  27th August 2020

      Precedents can only be set by higher courts.. no other High court judge has to follow what this judge allows.
      They probably had a written statement that ‘followed the rules’ but they added extra comments

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  27th August 2020

        I think he was referring to what individual judges will allow going forward from this case. Obviously the presiding judge in this case will be a little head-shy given its gravity of the situation.
        Can you imagine him/her censoring an impact statement when the person is a victim of Tarrants? Of course not…but will non Muslims be allowed the same latitude in future?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  27th August 2020

          Chanting and doing the fingers.

          Reply
          • You don’t seem to realise that this is a case of 51 people, including a tiny child, being murdered for being Muslim. How can you be so mean-spirited as to cavil about the survivors words ?

            If 51 non-Muslims had been murdered and many others injured, I am sure that the survivors would be permitted to use the same language.

            His actions were so far beyond ‘abusive’ that I can’t understand anyone even questioning the words used by those who witnessed them or lost husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters….

            It is unlikely to be a precedent, as one must hope that this will bever happen again in NZ.

            Reply
  2. duperez

     /  27th August 2020

    All sorts of legal discussion will go on about convention and the maintaining of civil discourse in the most trying of times.

    Sober heads will have it that a piece of shit acting like a piece of shit can’t in court be called a piece of shit.

    Other traditions and conventions are pushed to the wayside. Is there a reason why this one shouldn’t go when hypocrisy sees propriety and standards as mere commodities?

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th August 2020

    I think of Tarrant as an AI bot that missed out on having humanity programmed in. As such he is a warning to humanity.

    For his victims we can only have hugs and tears.

    Reply
    • Jack

       /  27th August 2020

      Rubbish. No human misses out on having humanity programmed in. Do you know about the womb?
      In dehumanising Tarrant, you avoid being a part of making sure this can never happen here again.
      Negative hugs and tears are more of a warning than Tarrant the deluded who still needs those things too.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  27th August 2020

        No. There are plenty of people who miss out on having humanity programmed in because it doesn’t end on leaving the womb – that is just the beginning. And we are in real danger of having robots do what Tarrant did.

        I don’t have any hugs and tears for Tarrant yet. Maybe later if he rejoins humanity.

        Reply
        • Jack

           /  27th August 2020

          Programming is done in the beginning, as a start. You’re talking about re programming, of which tis human nature to hope others go through that, not yourself

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  27th August 2020

            Nope. Programming comprises both creating a system that can learn and then teaching it. That is basic AI.

            Reply
            • Jack

               /  27th August 2020

              Then you and I are on the same page with this discussion, except that you reckoned Tarrant missed out on being created
              I hear warning bells.
              Could we stop now Big Al? I see Kimbo is back

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  27th August 2020

              No, Tarrant was mis-taught as are very many others who display inhumanity.

            • I didn’t think that you mentioned Tarrant being created or not created.

              He may well be a psychopath; all the more reason to keep him away from the world forever.

        • Kimbo

           /  27th August 2020

          Sociopathy (or is it Psychopathy?) and Narcissism are the result of programming due to formative experiences in childhood. And damned near impossible to address according to current Psychology orthodoxy, I think. Other than a sort of personal modification of behaviour but the underlying deficiency remains,

          Even if we are a tabula rasa/blank slate (a highly suspect thesis), once certain things are formed in us at the “scheduled” developmental stages, they become hard-wired. Or damn near it.

          Reply
          • Is it programming or a short circuit ?

            Reply
            • Kimbo

               /  27th August 2020

              Maybe, although I wouldn’t get too hung up as an analogy is a comparison of two things that are otherwise dissimilar.

              During the formative stages of a child’s life, they are treated/shaped in such a way that the envelope of opportunity to kick into action and shape their conscience and/or capacity for empathy is missed.

              All they can do afterwards is outwardly imitate those otherwise normal human activities. And as sociopaths and narcissists are very good at manipulating others, indeed they have no qualms at all (due to aforesaid lack of conscience and empathy) they learn very quickly how to fool others that they are moral and empathetic.

            • MaureenW

               /  27th August 2020

              @Kimbo
              Do you think these types consciously know they are different or that the empathetic behaviour they imitate Is the same as how others behave?

            • Kimbo

               /  27th August 2020

              From what I understand they think they are superior, and hence entitled. But for narcissists at least, even though they have a sneaking suspicion something is wrong about them and they do have a conscience (unlike sociopaths/psychopaths), because their behaviour is to mask a deep-seated shame (because they were never affirmed and accepted in their totality in that crucial developmental stage), they cannot/will not acknowledge the problem. Is just too awful and life-shattering for them to do so.

              Hence they carry on with their other primary driver, jealousy of others and the need to destroy them by extracting “narcissistic supply” so they can feel good/superior about themselves. And, yes, they think it is normal behaviour (don’t ask a fish to give you a description of water), and those whose lives they wreck “deserve it” for being weak and pathetic. Including when the narcissist takes advantage of their victim’s genuine conscience and empathy.

            • MaureenW

               /  27th August 2020

              @Kimbo .. do you work in this space .. you have a very good understanding and explanation of how and why they behave in the way they do

            • MaureenW

               /  27th August 2020

              @Kimbo .. do you work in this space .. you have a very good understanding and explanation of how and why they behave in the way they do

            • I read that many people here who adopted Roumanian orphans have had terrible problems with them, as, if a child isn’t loved, cuddled and petted in their first 18 months, it’s too late and they will be unable to learn to love and relate properly to people.

            • Kimbo

               /  27th August 2020

              Did some research a couple of years ago. Was actually prompted by someone a few years ago describing Donald Trump as a “narcissist” (he likely is, btw, of the “grandiose”, not “covert” variety, but a lot of politicians likely are, indeed it is a vocation that would attract them)

              …and suddenly ended up getting an unexpected explanation for the really weird stuff that happened in a relationship I had been in years before.

              So, no, I claim no clinical experience much less professional expertise. But once you know the behaviour and the other “tells” it gets easier to pick ’em. And believe me, the quicker you can pick them, you can steer well clear accordingly, because that is the best strategy.

            • Kimbo

               /  27th August 2020

              A good piece of advice from a clinical psychologist who was speaking on the matter (and bear in mind the way narcissists work, they infiltrate your defences so when it all starts to go wrong, their gaslighting and flying monkeys and other repertoire of dirty tactics screw up your usual rational and detached critical faculties) is that seeking “closure”, much less personal reflection and change from a narcissist is “an exercise in futility”.

            • i know of two such high functioning narcissistic people, and find that emotional disengagement works well.

            • Kimbo

               /  27th August 2020

              Yep, act like a “gray rock” is the suggested technique. Do that and you deprive them of the narcissistic supply they need and they quickly move on to unwitting more amenable sources.

          • duperez

             /  27th August 2020

            You hit a lot of nails on the head Kimbo.

            Before he was well-known and a sort of consumer/media celebrity Nigel Latta wrote a book ‘Into the Darklands and Beyond: Unveiling the Predators Among.’ (I think.) I read it at the time.

            I was interested in the notion of ‘reprogramming.’ Latta had been dealing with young people who’d done appalling things. There are those who think that telling some young miscreant to ‘buck up their ideas,’ or threaten them with jail or bootcamp would make them see the ‘error of their ways.’

            Are those likely to be successful strategies for someone who has been abused from before they were born and suffered extreme incidents or prolonged abuse?

            As they get big enough to exert and force power are they likely to be able to see reason and be unlikely to have have ‘flashes’ where extreme behaviour impacts on others?

            The immensity and depth of work needed to ‘re-programme’ a malfunctioning disturbed mind is incalculable. When the signs are there through childhood but the investment is by way of a prison cell when they they are old enough and done something heinous enough, it is too late. Some 82 year old pensioner has been smashed in the head, some baby has been killed, some shopkeeper has been traumatised for life.

            I remember some of the cutting of services to address issues effectively and try to directly deal with the real problems in Tai Tokerau. At least acknowledge that re-programming was needed and attempting to do it with identified cases.

            The way things work though, putting more money into the Northland Region Corrections Facility (Ngawha Prison) was a higher priority.

            (Latta’s book is a sobering read.)

            Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th August 2020

      Yes. The justice system has been stolen by its professionals. Time to take it back. That goes as much for the offenders as for their victims. I don’t think it serves either.

      What is happening to Andrew Little’s reforms? Are they being strangled by the professional interests?

      Reply
  4. BobJ

     /  27th August 2020

    Good, sentenced to life without parole.

    He did not oppose life without parole, not very surprised –

    – if it wasn’t LWOP it still would have been 30 – 40+ years before considered for parole
    – 29 years old, LWOP vs 30 – 40+ years without parole probably looks the same at day zero.
    – IF he ever hopes to get out an appeal or review of some sort in 40+ years time is probably his best bet, a guilty plea, not making grandiose statements, not opposing LWOP, ‘rehabilitated’, ‘found’ God, may get him some credit when he’s 70.
    – First person in NZ with LWOP, thinks he ‘notable’?
    – He may be planning on martyring himself.
    – Won’t be at all surprised if somebody off’s him in prison or that he has already been told that’s what he’s going to get.

    May he hate every day of his miserable existence and rot.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th August 2020

      Other people are going to have to manage him for his lifetime. If he is hating every day he will take it out on them. My.preference is that he finds deep remorse for what he did and determines to live better within his life’s prison.

      Reply

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