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Thursday, 20 August 2020
Hashem Abedi gets life in prison with minimum term of 55 years
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From the Manchester Evening News

Cowardly Abedi refused to leave his cells to attend a sentencing hearing on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Justice Jeremy Baker said he did not have the legal power to ask prison officers to physically bring him into the dock.

In his absence, families from across the country wept as they told heartbreaking stories of the loved ones they lost in the bombing, while others who survived gave painful details of their suffering, both physical and mental.

Alhough he was not in the dock to hear it, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker sentenced Abedi to life in prison with a minimum tariff off 55 years.

Both Mr Justice Baker and prosecutors agreed that Abedi's crimes should have meant he was handed a whole life order, meaning he would never be given the chance to leave prison.

But a loophole in the legislation means such orders cannot be imposed on those who committed their crimes while under the age of 21. 

However, it is thought the 55 years Abedi must serve is among the highest minimum term ever handed out by a court in Britain.

There were gasps around the court room as Justice Baker made clear the minimum term is 55 years. Good. "The defendant should clearly understand the minimum term he should serve is 55 years. He may never be released," he told the Old Bailey.

Abedi will be in his 70s before he can be considered for parole.

Following a trial, the foreman of the jury announced their verdicts in the absence of the defendant, who refused to attend the latter part of the trial and sacked his defence team.

In turn, the foreman announced guilty murder verdicts on each murder count: Elaine McIver, 43; Saffie-Rose Roussos, eight; Sorrell Leczkowski, 14; Eilidh MacLeod, 14; Nell Jones, 14; Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15; Megan Hurley, 15; Georgina Callander, 18; Chloe Rutherford,17; Liam Curry, 19; Courtney Boyle, 19; Philip Tron, 32; John Atkinson, 28; Martyn Hett, 29; Kelly Brewster, 32; Angelika Klis, 39; Marcin Klis, 42; Michelle Kiss, 45; Alison Howe, 45; Lisa Lees, 43; Wendy Fawell, 50; and Jane Tweddle, 51.

Some relatives of those killed bravely came to court to give powerful victim impact statements. Caroline Curry stood in the witness box and wept uncontrollably as she told the court about the loss of her ‘beautiful boy’ Liam. He was just 19-years-old and at the concert with his girlfriend Chloe, 17.

Everything the Judge said as he was sentenced here. 

A public inquiry into the attack is set to begin next month.

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Posted on 08/20/2020 7:30 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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