David Amess murderer Ali Harbi Ali branded 'beyond evil' as he receives life sentence

No minimum term set for extremist murder which 'struck at the heart of democracy'

ISIS follower Ali Harbi Ali was given a whole life term for the murder of David Amess. Photo: Met Police
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A "fanatical Islamist" inspired by ISIS was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for the murder of veteran British politician David Amess by knifing him to death in a frenzied attack in a church where he was meeting voters.

"This is a murder that struck at the heart of democracy," judge Nigel Sweeney said as he handed down his sentence at London's Old Bailey courthouse, noting Ali had shown "no remorse or shame".

Ali, 26, a British citizen and son of a former media adviser to a prime minister of Somalia, repeatedly stabbed Amess in October 2021 for what he said was revenge for the politician's support for air strikes on Syria.

He was given a whole life term, which means there is no minimum term set by the judge and he will never be considered for release.

Ali was found guilty on Monday of murder and preparation of terrorism after the jury took less than half an hour to reach a verdict.

The family of the late Conservative MP for Southend West have described his murder as "beyond evil".

Lady Julia Amess and the Amess family released a joint statement as his killer was sentenced on Wednesday.

Family will 'forever shed tears' for David Amess

In the statement read outside court by Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Matt Jukes, the family described the "sickening" thought of what happened after Amess greeted his killer with a smile during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.

"There is no elation in our family today following this sentencing. Our amazing husband and father has been taken from us in an appalling and violent manner. Nothing will ever compensate for that.

"We will wake each day and immediately feel our loss. We will struggle through each day for the rest of our lives.

"Our last thought before sleep will be of David. We will forever shed tears for the man we have lost. We shall never get over this tragedy.

"It breaks our heart to know that our husband and father would have greeted the murderer with a smile of friendship and would have been anxious to help. How sickening to think what happened next. It is beyond evil.

"Our thanks go to the police, in particular the two officers assigned to the family during this dreadful time.

"Our thanks also to the legal team who worked so tirelessly to ensure that justice was done.

"Our special thanks also to the many, many friends and family and, of course, the general public, who have been a source of so much strength and love to us since David died.

"Somehow, we now have to move on with our lives although none of us really knows where to begin.

"We would refer to the statement made by our family immediately after this tragedy. Our message remains the same. We appeal to everyone to treat their fellow human beings with kindness, love and understanding. This is needed more than ever now.

"We now ask for privacy to rebuild our lives as best we can. There will be no further statements, interviews or indeed any comment. We ask the media to respect this. Thank you."

Updated: April 13, 2022, 12:46 PM