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Hashem Abedi, Brother Of Manchester Arena Bomber Salman Abedi, Sentenced To 55 Years In Prison

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Hashem Abedi, Brother Of Manchester Arena Bomber Salman Abedi, Sentenced To 55 Years In Prison

Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, has been sentenced to 55 years in prison.

This marks the highest ever minimum term set for life in prison, when a whole life sentence can't be given.

Abedi, 23, refused to be brought to the dock as he was handed his sentence today, having also failed to appear in court yesterday as victim statements were read out.

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Judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said he would have handed Abedi a whole life order, but as he was under 21 at the time of the attack, he is unable to by law.

Justice Baker concluded that both the defendent and his brother played an 'integral' role in purchasing the materials to make the bomb, saying they were 'equally culpable' for the explosion.

Court sketch of Abedi from earlier this year. Credit: PA
Court sketch of Abedi from earlier this year. Credit: PA

He 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.

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"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."

Abedi, who was 20 at the time of the attack, has remained silent throughout his trial, even sacking his legal team earlier this year.

In March, he was found guilty of murder over the 2017 attack, which killed 22 innocent people.

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Along with the 22 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, which took into account injured survivors, he was also found guilty of conspiring to cause explosions.

The two-day court hearing began yesterday at the Old Bailey with emotional victim impact statements from survivors and the bereaved.

Court sketch of Lisa Rutherford, mother of 17-year-old Chloe Rutherford, reading her victim statement at the Old Bailey yesterday. Credit: PA
Court sketch of Lisa Rutherford, mother of 17-year-old Chloe Rutherford, reading her victim statement at the Old Bailey yesterday. Credit: PA

According to the BBC, many parents 'broke down in tears' as they recalled the moment they discovered their loved ones had been killed, while others slammed the 'evil' brothers for their cowardly attack.

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However, Abedi refused to leave his cell to face up to the testimonies, with Justice Baker saying he had 'no power to direct that force be used to compel him to come into court'.

Jayne Jones, the mother of 14-year-old Nell Jones, said words could not 'come anywhere near' describing the family's grief.

She said: "We miss her laughter, her wicked sense of humour. But we cherish her legacy."

A memorial to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing at Victoria Station in Manchester. Credit: PA
A memorial to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing at Victoria Station in Manchester. Credit: PA
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Michael Thompson, the father of 45-year-old Michelle Kiss, said his family were 'going from day to day on autopilot' after his daughter was taken away from them 'in the most terrible and cowardly way'.

He added: "We believe there is more good in the world than bad but unfortunately it only takes one bad person to devastate and destroy so many lives."

The Old Bailey was told some victim impact and witness statements should not be read in open court, and instead should be considered by the judge in private.

Featured Image Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Topics: UK News, News

Jess Hardiman
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