Hashem Abedi, Brother of Manchester Bomber, Faces Life in Prison — Refuses to Leave His Cell to Face Sentencing

Hashem Abedi
AFP

The brother of Samia Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomber, is facing life in prison for his role in the mass murder of mostly young Ariana Grande concert-goers in 2017. Hashem Abedi refused to leave his cell and face his sentencing hearing.

In March, Hashem Abedi, 22, was convicted of twenty-two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and of conspiring with his brother — who died in the bombing — to set off an explosion in the terror attack.

The Islamic State-inspired jihadist is not eligible for a whole life term in prison, as he was under the age of 21 at the time of the bombing. However, according to The Telegraph, Abedi could face multiple 30-year minimum sentences in order to keep him behind bars for life.

Though he was in Libya when his brother detonated the bomb, the court heard that he helped his brother in sourcing chemicals and shrapnel in order to make the bomb more deadly. He was extradited from Libya to the UK last year to stand trial for the mass murder.

On Wednesday, Abedi was brought to the Old Bailey court, however, the convicted terrorist refused to attend the hearing.

“My understanding is that having been brought to this building, he has refused to come into the courtroom,” Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said.

“However unsatisfactory it is that he isn’t in the courtroom to listen to the victim impact statements, there is nothing the court itself can do about it,” he added.

The fact that the terrorist is skipping his sentencing hearing, means that Abedi will not have to listen to the victim statements from family members of the victims of the bombing. In the 2017 attack in Manchester 22 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. It is estimated that the bombing had “nearly 1,000 victims” when including those who suffered post-traumatic stress as a result of the attack.

Many of the deceased were young adults and children, alongside their parents, as the attack took place following an Ariana Grande concert.

In a statement read to the court by survivor Claire Booth, who was injured in the attack that claimed the life of her sister Kelley Brewster, said: “Since 22 May 2017 our family has not been the same – all our hearts are broken.”

“My dad has not been able to walk his daughter down the aisle, my mum can’t take her shopping for a wedding dress,” she said tearfully.

A statement from Daryl Price, the father of John Atkinson, 28, said: “The repercussions of that night are beyond measure”.

“The most unbelievable thing is the total disregard for human life,” he said.

The mother of Liam Curry, 19 — who died alongside his girlfriend Chloe Rutherford — Caroline Curry said that Hashem “took from me something more precious than gold, a beautiful boy, inside and out.”

The hearing continues.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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