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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Terrorist repaid hospitality with mass murder

The nephew of a 64-year-old woman who was gunned down by convicted terrorist, Brenton Tarrant has told her killer of his horror of learning of the mosque attacks and his “utter rage” that the Australian was “a guest to New Zealand”.

“This man is not one of us but that didn’t stop him from slaughtering us,” Kyron Gosse told the court, speaking on the second day of Tarrant’s four-day sentencing at Christchurch High Court.

“He entered into our home with ill intentions and hate in his heart.”

“Only to repay our hospitality by murdering our family and our guests – people who we welcome into this country with the promise of a better life.”

Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words: Birthplace: earth; Race: Human; Politics: freedom; Religion: Love, in an incredibly composed address to the court, Mr Gosse described Tarrant’s crimes as a “grotesque attack on New Zealand soil”.

“I want you to know the dread I felt in my gut as I drove by the train station to see roads blocked off by police armed to the hilt with military-style automatic weapons, on high alert,” he said.

“A sight I had never seen in New Zealand before.”

“And I want you to know how I felt as a member of the public, wondering if this was an isolated incident or if my life was in danger as well,” he said, placing his hand to his heart in the court.

His aunt, Linda Armstrong, 64, was an Auckland-born woman who reportedly converted to Islam in 2011. She was killed at the Linwood Islamic Centre by Tarrant.

Her nephew told the court, “this coward hid behind his big powerful guns and shot little old Linda from afar. She never even stood a chance.”

He told Tarrant that his video footage of the attack – which the terrorist live-streamed on Facebook before it was later taken down – would “haunt me for the rest of my life”.

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