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Police has today praised the courage and strength of victims and survivors following the life without parole sentencing of the man who carried out the 15 March 2019 terror attacks.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, aged 29, was this afternoon sentenced at the High Court in Christchurch to life in prison without parole.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says while today’s sentencing was an important milestone in the judicial process, it should not overshadow the incredible stories of determination and survival of victims, heard over the course of this week.
“It is those people I wish to acknowledge and pay tribute to. While this is an unprecedented sentence, it will not ease the grief of the victims, their families and communities, nor will it erase the abhorrence we felt as a nation.
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“While this will be recorded as an historic sentence, it is the impact on victims and their stories of survival, strength, humility and forgiveness that we must remember.
“New Zealand and the world, has felt the pain of the Muslim community and the horror of such a hateful and senseless act committed in our own backyard, against our own people.
“We responded to this event with unity and our communities came closer together, which is ultimately what will ensure that all people can be safe and feel safe in this country.
“I would like to acknowledge the hundreds of Police staff who worked for many months to ensure justice was ultimately served today.
“The investigation was one of the largest and most complex in New Zealand history, and I’m extremely proud of the team’s exceptional policing through meticulous attention to detail and commitment to putting victims first.
“I also wish to acknowledge the important role our staff in Canterbury, led by District Commander Superintendent John Price. Together with other agency partners, they have worked closely with the Muslim communities in Christchurch to provide support and reassurance that they are valued members of the Canterbury community who deserve to be and feel safe.”
Image courtesy: Kai Schwoerer from Getty Images