New Zealand mosque shooter appeals against life sentence

Tarrant shot dead 51 worshippers and injured 40 at two Christchurch mosques

A view of the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch, New Zealand, taken in 2014.  REUTERS/SNPA/Martin Hunter   ATTENTION EDITORS - NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
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A man who killed more than 50 people in a 2019 mosque massacre in New Zealand has appealed against his life sentence.

Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant filed an appeal against his conviction, court officials told news agencies on Tuesday.

Tarrant shot dead 51 worshippers and injured 40 at two Christchurch mosques. His victims included men, women and children who had gathered for Friday prayers.

The attack, which was live-streamed by Tarrant, shook the nation and prompted gun reform in New Zealand.

Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole in August 2020, the first person in New Zealand ordered to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Judge Cameron Mander said he was imposing the harshest possible term for Tarrant's "inhuman" actions.

"Your crimes are so wicked, that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation," he said at the time.

epa07447675 Muslim worshippers grieve at a makeshift memorial at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Road in Christchurch, New Zealand, 19 March 2019. A gunman, believed to be a 28-year-old Australian man, who killed 50 worshippers at the Al Noor Masjid and Linwood Masjid, appeared in court on the morning of the 16 March charged with murder.  EPA/MICK TSIKAS  AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

The father of a 3-year-old boy killed in the attack, Tarrant's youngest victim, told the white supremacist: "You have killed my son and to me that is as though you have killed the whole of New Zealand."

Tarrant spent years preparing for the attack, prosecutors said at his sentencing hearing, buying high-powered firearms, researching mosque layouts and timing his March 15 attacks to maximise casualties.

He intended to instil fear into those he described as "invaders", a crown prosecutor said.

His former lawyer had previously indicated he was considering appeal, saying his client had believed "the simplest way out was to plead guilty", which amounted to a plea made under duress.

On Tuesday, he told AFP he had been fired and was no longer representing Tarrant.

Last year, a UK man was sent to jail for sharing footage of the massacre, and Tarrant's manifesto, online.

Another Briton was given an 18-year prison sentence for stockpiling chemicals to make explosives.

Neo-nazi Dean Morrice also filmed himself strumming a guitar to footage of the Christchurch attacks.

Updated: November 08, 2022, 7:04 AM