The judge has resignedly said that, try as he might, he can’t possibly sentence a terrorist who killed 22 people at the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing with the life sentence, incompatible with the public sentiment.
More specifically speaking, it’s the bomber’s younger brother, who was instrumental in the success of the attack. The said provocateur wasn’t even present in court as the judge went on to explain his legal dilemma.
Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber Salman, has been found guilty of murder of 22 people, one of them being only 8 years old at the time.
Court documents read that the younger Abedi was crucial by sourcing, buying, stockpiling and transporting components for his older brother’s bomb from January 2017.The judge, however, said that despite the obvious charges and the proofs that they had, he wouldn’t be able to hand out the full life sentence.
Abedi was under the age of 21 at the time of the attack.Also, Judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker remarked over the terrorist’s refusal to enter into the room, saying that he had no power to make the prison service use force to bring a defendant to court.
Abedi, could be given multiple life sentences with a minimum starting point of 30 years.
The British Criminal Law, specifically being Criminal Justice Act 2003, says that sentencing rules set out for judges make a distinction between offenders aged between 18 and 20, compared with those over 21. Those in their late teens and aged 20 is criminally treated as ‘youths’, even for the most heinous crimes such as mass killing.
Justice Baker said: ‘If the defendant, like his brother, had been 21 or over at the time of the offence, the appropriate starting point would have been a whole life order.
Not only because of the combination of the significant degree of pre-meditation but also because the motivation for them was to advance the ideology of Islamism, a matter distinct to and abhorrent to the vast majority for those who follow the Islamic faith.
Former Met Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson was quick to criticize this legal loophole: ‘It is a nonsense that Abedi should be eligible for parole just because he was 20 rather than 21. This is not a criticism of the judge because that is the letter of the law and the law needs to be rethought.’
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