Tarrant tried to avoid appearing in court for sentencing

Christchurch mosque murderer Brenton Tarrant tried to avoid appearing in person in court for his sentencing, which involved three days of victim statements before he was sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole.

After his first appearance in person in court in Christchurch last year Tarrant had appeared via AVL link from prison in Auckland for further appearances until this week’s sentencing. The Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 allows AVL to be used at sentencing but at a judge’s discretion.

Tarrant’s lawyers submitted that AVL technology wouldn’t adversely affect their client’s ability to follow proceedings or engage with them.

But his sentencing wasn’t only about him and his convenience.

The judge said: “I am concerned that the defendant’s request could be interpreted as an attempt to withdraw from the sentencing process to avoid having to face the consequences of being publicly held accountable for his offending. The interests of justice do not favour the encouragement or aiding of such a strategy.”

“Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.”

ODT/NZH: Mosque terrorist tried to avoid fronting up to victims

Christchurch mosque killer Brenton Tarrant, repeatedly branded a “gutless coward” by his victims this week, tried to get out of appearing at his own sentencing, it can be revealed.

New court documents released to the New Zealand Herald show that the 29-year-old Australian mass killer applied for permission to appear at his sentencing by way of audio-visual link (AVL) only.

The move – lodged in May after his shock guilty pleas and opposed by Crown lawyers – was rejected by Justice Cameron Mander.

The judge raised concerns that Tarrant was trying to avoid facing the consequences of being publicly held accountable for his offending.

Tarrant’s then lawyers – before he sacked them – tried arguing that suitable technology would’ve been available and that it had been used at earlier court appearances. They said there had been no issues with the quality of the link and that AVL technology wouldn’t have adversely affected their client’s ability to follow proceedings or engage with them.

They also claimed it would have resulted in “significant cost saving” by not having to securely transfer him from Auckland to Christchurch.

In the Crown’s strong opposition, they pointed to the “nature and seriousness of the charges” and the number of victims, along with the impact of his offending.

The Crown lawyers said sentencing would “assume greater importance for the victims, as it has now become the focal point of the criminal proceeding and there is no reason why such an important part of the criminal justice process ought not to be conducted in the usual way with the defendant physically present in the courtroom”.

The judge said Tarrant would be a “critical participant and his physical presence is an important component of the administration of justice in this case”.

“The only apparent justification appears to be the defendant’s preference, which cannot displace the ordinary need for a defendant to be physically before the court for the purpose of being sentenced in the circumstances of such a serious case as this,” Justice Mander ruled.

“Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.”

The judge expressed concern that Tarrant “may well now be seeking to distance himself or disengage from the criminal process”.

“His trepidation may be understandable but the sentencing hearing will be conducted in accordance with the ordinary rules and disciplines that apply to such a proceeding and arrangements will be made to ensure his security,” he said.

So Tarrant’s threats he would use his court appearances to promote his sick ideology changed over time to not wanting to appear in person in front of the victims and judge. Judge Mander at sentencing:

Your plan was to be captured alive and to use your subsequent interactions with the police and the court process to advance your ideological cause. I accept that insofar as you may have thought to use your trial as a platform, you discarded that opportunity when you pleaded guilty and have taken no steps in the course of this hearing to advance the ideology that motivated you.

And despite choosing to represent himself he also chose to not speak at all apart from a couple of brief responses to questions from the judge.

He also did not oppose the life without parole sentence, the first time it has been imposed in New Zealand.

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8 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  29th August 2020

    It had nothing to do with being a coward, but more to do with boredom and maintaining the upper hand over his perceived enemies.

    When that strategy failed, he did the next best thing…he gave his enemies nothing as he received his lumps.

    ”So Tarrant’s threats he would use his court appearances to promote his sick ideology changed over time to not wanting to appear in person in front of the victims and judge.”

    Did he threaten that, or was it the fear he may attempt that course of action?

    Reply
    • Judge Mander at sentencing:

      Your plan was to be captured alive and to use your subsequent interactions with the police and the court process to advance your ideological cause.

      Click to access R-v-Tarrant-sentencing-remarks-20200827.pdf

      (I have added this to the post)

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th August 2020

      He live streamed his killings and published a manifesto online just before he started shooting.
      So yes he had an agenda he wanted to spread and due to an oversight when held in prison he communicated with ‘supporters’
      A clear and present danger he would continue to spread his hatred during his court appearances.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  29th August 2020

      Haven’t time to have a good look. I will do that later. But the summary on a cursory glance seems to support my opinion of a cold calculating killer. Of course he’s now contrite and apologetic.

      Reply
      • It’s news to me that he’s contrite and apologetic. He laughed during one victim statement and again when he was sentenced.

        Apologetic seems a mild and trivial word to use in connection with this massacre.

        In your first post, you seem to be making excuses for the inexcusable.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  29th August 2020

        “Haven’t time to have a good look.”
        Yet you have time and are happy to get your lederhosen in a twist over defending imputations about Tarrants actions during the trial

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  29th August 2020

          I can’t live in cyberspace all the time like you. Give me a break. Have I ever backed away from giving you your lumps?

          Save me some time and look this up will you. I may be wrong about what Pete wrote.

          ”So Tarrant’s threats he would use his court appearances to promote his sick ideology.”

          That’s a good chap. Hope to be back soon.

          ps- NO spinning.

          Reply
  2. duperez

     /  29th August 2020

    Everyone can ponder the mental state of the mass murderer and interpret his actions then and now and what they mean. All guesswork.

    The only person who really knows is him. Realistically though, what chance a rational objective reading from him? His is a particular type of crazy likely subject to mood and time.

    Reply

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